The world’s largest green stone producer has unearthed a 5,655-carat emerald crystal at its mines in Zambia.
The stone, which weighs more than 1.1 kg (almost 2.5 pounds), was found at the Gemfield mines in Kangem, the company said in a statement Monday.
The emerald is called ‘Inkalamu’, which means ‘lion’ in the local Bemba language in Zambia. It will be cut into smaller pieces and auctioned in Singapore in November.
It has “remarkable clarity and a perfectly balanced golden green hue,” the statement said.
Emeralds are rare and more valuable than diamonds, driving their demand in the market. Most of the world’s emeralds are mined in Zambia, Colombia, and Brazil.
Elena Basaglia, a gemologist at Gemfield, said interest in Zambian emeralds has grown, particularly from distributors in Europe.
“We are experiencing increasing demand for high quality Zambian emeralds from major brands, particularly in Europe, who admire the rich color and unique transparency of our gems, qualities that make them unique among emeralds,” said Basaglia.
The gem is not the largest emerald stone ever found in the company’s mines. In 2010, miners at the Zambia-based operation found a 6,225-carat emerald that they named an “elephant” due to its enormous size.