6 May 2022
Chipembele breaks GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title
The extraordinary 7,525-carat (1.505 kg) emerald found at Gemfields’ Kagem mine in Zambia, and owned by Eshed – Gemstar, now holds the title for Largest uncut emerald, verified on 22 April 2022. Chipembele means “rhino” in the local Bemba dialect.
Eshed – Gemstar and Gemfields were delighted to celebrate this accolade at the Gem Geneva trade show, with a champagne toast on the 5th of May in the presence of friends and colleagues from the industry. A glittering fixture in the jewellery calendar, Gem Geneva was the perfect occasion for this honour, especially with emerald being the birthstone of May.
From the moment they laid eyes on it, the geologists who discovered Chipembele, in July 2021, knew it was a very special gemstone. With its exceptional size, vivid green hue, clarity and lack of inclusions, it has a rare combination of desirable features – a result of having formed under near perfect conditions at Kagem. Shining a light through it, it is clear to see how the elements beryllium, chromium and vanadium came together to form this large hexagonal crystal.
With 50 years of experience, Eshed – Gemstar’s founder Avraham Eshed is one of the most respected and experienced players in the gemstone industry. He recognised Chipembele’s great value and rarity and purchased the gemstone at Gemfields’ high-quality emerald auction in November 2021.
“We wanted to do something really special to celebrate our relationship with Africa and African gemstones and there is nothing more suitable than breaking the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the Largest uncut emerald,” said Avraham. “We are here to inspire people worldwide and introduce them to the exquisite beauty and rarity of natural gemstones – especially natural gemstones from Africa. We want to pass our knowledge and love for natural gemstones to future generations.”
A portion of proceeds from the sale of Chipembele was donated by Kagem to the North Luangwa Conservation Programme in Zambia, to aid critical black rhinoceros conservation efforts, and Eshed – Gemstar will also contribute a share from any future sales of Chipembele. In keeping with Gemfields’ brand values, Chipembele was mined with integrity and transparency – it comes complete with unique DNA nanoparticle tagging and a blockchain ledger, both provided by Provenance Proof (a subsidiary of Gübelin Gem Lab); and every effort is being made to ensure its great value benefits the local communities around the Kagem mine.
There are high hopes that the attention this exceptional emerald has rightly attracted will go a long way towards promoting African coloured gemstones and shining a light on the importance of best practice in the industry.