Kagem emerald auction celebrates first local emerald buyer

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From left, Jewel of Africa directors Rashmi and Rajnish Sharma help Gübelin Gem Lab Head of Development Klemens Link to apply the nano-technology to their Kagem emeralds, watched by Gemfields Chief Executive officer Sean Gilbertson..

Kagem Mining celebrated the first successful sale of high quality emeralds to a Zambian buyer at its auction in Lusaka last week.

Leading Lusaka-based jewellery manufacturer and retailer Jewel of Africa successfully bid for a parcel of gemstones for an undisclosed price during the 26th auction held since Kagem began a formal auction process in 2009.

The landmark purchase by the Zambian family-owned jewellers managed by brother-and-sister partnership Dr Rajnish Sharma and Rashmi Sharma creates a fully Zambian value chain, from the Kagem mine in Lufwanyama, to cutting, polishing and crafting of top end jewellery.

Lufwanyama’s Kagem mine is the world’s single largest producing emerald mine and is owned 75 per cent by London-based Gemfields in partnership with the Zambian government.

“This is an exciting week for Jewel of Africa and for the Zambian gemstone sector as a whole. Our successful bid for one of the parcels of high-quality Kagem emeralds means that discerning jewellery buyers will be able to buy a truly Zambian piece of emerald jewellery, fully assured that it was responsibly mined at Kagem, cut and polished in Zambia, and hand-crafted into jewellery by experts in Zambia,” said Dr Sharma.

Jewel of Africa was one of 36 companies from around the world participating in the auction. All the emeralds on offer were sold at the auction.

“Congratulations to Jewel of Africa. Their successful bid consolidates Zambia’s position as one of the world’s leading centres for emerald mining and production, and reinforces the beauty, rarity and value of the nation’s gemstones,” said Gemfields chief executive officer Sean Gilbertson, who stressed that the proceeds of the auction would be fully repatriated to Kagem in Zambia, with all royalties due to the Zambian Government paid on the full sales prices achieved at the auction.

In a further move, Kagem arranged for the Jewel of Africa’s winning lot to be the first in the world to be infused commercially with a new nano-technology system to tag and trace emeralds back to their mine of origin.

The breakthrough nanotechnology, invented by Swiss gemstone laboratory Gübelin Gem Lab under the “Provenance Proof” label, leaves no visible trace and uses customised synthetic DNA-based nano-particles that are infused by gentle rocking into the rough emerald crystals, enabling traceability of emeralds back to the mine of origin, the date of mining and any other data requested.

2 Responses to Kagem emerald auction celebrates first local emerald buyer

  1. This is uplifting piece of business good news for me even without having a direct financial gain!

    I am reminded that we really must celebrate the decision by the late Mr. Michael Sata, President of the Republic of Zambia also for directing that we should be having local emerald auctions in-country.

    I wonder what would happen if we did the same for our lifeline, COPPER itself!! Can we have the Lusaka Metal Market for Copper and related metals?

    Victor MP Nyasulu
    October 12, 2017 at 11:57 am
    Reply

  2. Good thought ba Victor, may the authorities explore this avenue!

    Ichishinka
    October 13, 2017 at 1:17 pm
    Reply

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