There are giant gems, and then there are truly giant gems, and Gemfield’s latest emerald is so big, it got its own name.
Nicknamed Chipembele, this 7,525-carat gem was found in Zambia at the Kagem emerald mine“owned by Gemfields in partnership with the Zambian government’s Industrial Development Corporation. Chipembele means “rhino” in Zambia’s indigenous Bemba dialect.
According to a press release, Chipembele was discovered in July of this year by geologist Manas Banerjee and Richard Karpeta, the latter of whom reportedly yelled “look at this rhino horn!” upon discovery, gifting the emerald its name.
A stunning specimen, Chipembele boasts a glassy surface with distinct hexagonal crystal structures and a deep hue. The remarkable gemstone is set to be sold during Gemfields’ next auction, and part of the proceeds will go toward the North Luangwa Conservation Programme in Zambia, to aid in the organization's efforts to protect and conserve the critical black rhinoceros population.
“A key Gemfields tenet is that Africa’s gemstone wealth must contribute meaningfully not only to host-country economies, but also to conservation efforts, host communities and the next generation by way of education, healthcare and livelihoods projects,” Jackson Mtonga, Kagem Sort House Assistant Manager, is quoted in the press release. “We are delighted that the legacy of Chipembele will support rhinoceros conservation efforts, bringing a positive impact to conservation communities in Zambia.”
Chipembele is one of the three largest gems found in the Kagem emerald mine, followed by the 6,225-carat Insofu and 5,655-carat Inkalamu emeralds. All three take their names from essential African wildlife; Insofu meaning “elephant” and Inkalamu meaning “lion” in Bemba.
In line with Gemfields’ ethical code, 10 percent of the Inkalamu sale price was donated to conservation efforts shared between carnivore conservation projects and tracking projects in Mozambique and Zambia.
Visit Gemfields website to learn more about the company’s conservation efforts, this beautiful emerald and the upcoming auction.
Photography by: Courtesy of Gemfields