Miner And Geologist Discover £2 Million Emerald In Zambian Mine

Most of us are pretty chuffed if we win a fiver on a scratch card - marching straight into the pub and exclaiming that you'll be buying a round of tequilas for everyone in the building like the massive baller that you are.

Miner And Geologist Discover £2 Million Emerald In Zambian Mine

But imagine how good you'd feel if you lucked out not with a crappy scratch card, but an actual emerald. As in, the bright green jewel that you normally only see knocking about in fairytales and Disney films.


Oh, and not just any old emerald... one worth up to £2 million ($2.5m).

That's what happened to geologist Debapriya Rakshit and veteran miner Richard Kapeta, when they stumbled on a 5,655 carat gem at Zambia's Kagem mine on 2 October.

Credit: Gemfields
Credit: Gemfields

According to Zambia Reports, the gem was discovered in the eastern part of Kagem's largest open-pit mine, where the team have recovered several fairly sizeable crystals recently.

London gemstone producer Gemfields described the giant emerald as having 'remarkable clarity and a perfectly balanced golden green hue'.


I mean, that's always what I look for in my emeralds, personally.

The gem has been dubbed 'Ikalamu' (which means the 'Lion Emerald', and pays tribute to the work carried out by two of Gemfields' conservation partners, the Zambian Carnivore Programme and the Niassa Carnivore Project in Mozambique) - the naming of uncut emeralds being an honour reserved only for the rarest and most remarkable gems.

Gemfields last named one back in 2010, when it unveiled the 'Insofu' (elephant) emerald. That one weighed in at 6,225 carats, and was sold in Lusaka, Zambia, to an Indian firm for an undisclosed fee.

The Ikalamu specimen, meanwhile, will be auctioned privately in Singapore next month.

Elena Basaglia, Gemfields' gemmologist said: "We are experiencing strikingly increased demand for high-quality Zambian emeralds from the major brands, particularly in Europe, all of whom admire the rich colour and unique transparency of our gems - qualities that make them unique among emeralds.

"It's difficult to estimate how many individual gems will be cut from Inkalamu, but the cutting expertise of Gemfields' auction partners will mean that this gemstone will make its mark in the history books of exceptional gemstones."

The Daily Mail reports that the retail value of a single carat of good quality emerald is around £400 ($510), meaning that if the Inkalamu whopper is cut into smaller stones, it could fetch at least £2m.

Now that could buy you a lot of tequilas...

Featured Image Credit: Gemfields