Miners at the Zambian mine in Kagem, in the north of the country, discovered a high-quality 5.655 carat (1.13 kg) crystal.
The emerald – nicknamed “Inkalamu” (meaning lion) – “shows remarkable clarity with a perfectly balanced golden green colour,” according to a statement released by Kagem Mining Ltd.
The emerald is already creating buzz in the global gemstone industry even before its auction in Singapore next month. “We are seeing a surge in the demand for high-quality Zambian emeralds from major brands, especially in Europe, who all admire the rich colours and unique transparency of our precious stones.”
The huge gemstone will be cut into smaller stones to be sold. Inkalamu was discovered on October 2 in the eastern part of Kagem’s largest open-pit mine. The mining site is 75% owned by Gemfields, based in London, and 25% by the Zambian government through its investment wing, the Industrial Development Corporation of Zambia.