8 November 2021
Gemfields introduces its largest high-quality emerald yet – Chipembele, the rhino emerald
Gemfields is delighted to introduce “Chipembele”, the latest and largest significant gemstone discovered at the Kagem emerald mine in Zambia.
Naming of uncut emeralds is a tradition reserved only for the most rare and remarkable gems. Weighing 7,525 carats (1,505g), Chipembele – which means ‘rhino’ in the local indigenous dialect of Bemba – has earned a place in this exclusive club.
The discovery of Chipembele follows Insofu (Bemba for ‘elephant’ – discovered in 2010) and Inkalamu (‘lion’ – 2018), all of which were formed within relatively close proximity at the Kagem emerald mine in Zambia. Chipembele was discovered on 13 July 2021 by geologist Manas Banerjee and Richard Kapeta (who was also the team leader for the discovery of Inkalamu in October 2018) and his team at Kagem. The discovery, they said, “left everyone speechless.” Kapeta shouted in joy, “look at this rhino horn!” And hence, the gemstone found its name.
Chipembele formed under near perfect conditions, allowing the combination of the elements to crystalise into large, distinct hexagonal crystal structures with glassy surfaces. The rich, golden green hue and gemmy nature of this emerald will be appealing to buyers looking to yield fine quality faceted emeralds after the cutting and polishing process.
This remarkable gem is due to be sold at the next Gemfields emerald auction and a share of the proceeds of the sale will support the North Luangwa Conservation Programme in Zambia, to aid critical black rhinoceros conservation efforts. Selected premium emeralds brought to the auction will once again receive Gübelin’s ‘provenance proof’ service, which embeds nanoparticles coded with information within the gemstone that provides key details pertaining to the gemstone’s origin. The process provides greater clarity of origin to gemstone customers, aiding transparency and trust in the industry. The winning bidder for Chipembele will be given the option of a unique DNA nano-tag identity, developed by Gübelin, ensuring that the cut and polished gems that it yields can be identified and certified as having originated from this extraordinary gemstone.