4 November 2021

Phillips’ Exceptional Emerald Collection: the collector explains why he sought treasures from Zambia

Gemfields is delighted to promote the largest collection of Zambian emeralds ever to be offered at auction. Comprising over 45 lots, the collection – hosted by Phillips – includes 993 carats of breathtaking fine Zambian emerald gemstones.


Zambian emeralds make rare appearances at auction. Discovered more recently than their Colombian counterparts, but far older in formation, Zambian emeralds were seldom seen on royalty or stars of the silver-screen prior to the 1970s, as the majority of the fine gemstones we see today remained unearthed until that time, sleeping deep under the Zambian soil. It is perhaps for this reason that Colombian emeralds have commanded a premium, for it certainly cannot be said that Zambian emeralds are inferior in quality. On the contrary, their composition lends itself to superior levels of clarity and size and a distinctive vivid bluish green colour, which adds to the overall depth of the gem. Examples originating from Gemfields’ Kagem mine in Zambia have been seen to demonstrate the very best that nature can offer.

One prolific collector, who owns the largest collection of Zambian emeralds ever to be offered at auction, sums up their unique appeal – which he compares to New World wines coming to be held in equal esteem to perennially popular French ones, or newer cigar-producing nations catching up with Cuba – “It was only ever a matter of time before the value of top-quality Zambian emeralds would come to be appreciated, and indeed we have seen that happening and accelerating in recent years. To certain collectors and gem connoisseurs, top-quality Zambian emeralds are now held in equal esteem as those of Colombian origin.”




The upcoming Phillips auction, Treasures from Zambia: Behind the scenes of An Exceptional Emerald Collection, will be an ideal opportunity for anyone wanting to begin a collection of their own. This collector has pledged that a percentage of the proceeds from the sale will benefit the Gemfields Foundation, with Phillips generously promising to match this sum, for maximum positive impact benefitting projects in Zambia.


Treasures from Zambia: An Exceptional Emerald Collection is open for bidding via Phillips from 23 November – 2 December 2021. Read more on Phillips.com.