The emerald, named Insofu – baby elephant in the local Bemba language - is considered “exceptional” by industry experts because of its large size, clarity and colour.
“This is one of the best pieces I have seen. It has a beautiful history," says Diacolor chairman, Rajkumar Tongya.
"The sheer size makes it a rare stone and on top of that it has beautiful quality: it has gem green; top green in lustre. It has glamour; it has a history and I am very proud of it. It is of course very high value but it is priceless for me.
“It’s a museum piece for me, I don’t want to sell it. I would like to enjoy keeping it,” continues Tongya.
Insofu was mined in 2010 at Kagem, the world's single largest producing emerald mine, which is owned 75% by London-based Gemfields, in partnership with the Zambian government.
The emerald was named by Gemfields to reflect the company's support for wildlife conservation as part of its wider commitment to ensuring responsible mining through social, environmental and economic contributions to Zambia.
Gemfields has been instrumental in putting Zambia on the world map as a competitive, reliable and trusted source of responsibly sourced gemstones while pioneering new environmental, social and safety standards in the coloured gemstone sector.
“This is a truly remarkable example of a spectacular gemstone from the Kagem emerald mine.
We have rarely seen this in the seven-and-a-half years since we mined it in 2010; it’s an incredible piece and it’s definitely in the right hands,” comments Gemfields CEO, Sean Gilbertson, who congratulated Tongya and all the other participants of the auction, at which all lots were sold.
Feature image credit: Kagem Mining