Gemfields launches ‘Every Piece Unique’ global campaign to highlight responsibly sourced Zambian emeralds
Gemfields, the world’s leading supplier of responsibly sourced coloured gemstones, has launched a global advertising campaign to raise awareness of responsible sourcing in the coloured gemstone industry and promote Zambian emeralds Zambian emeralds from its Kagem mine in Lufwanyama. Gemfields believes that coloured gemstones should be mined and marketed by championing three key values – transparency, integrity and legitimacy – and seeks to challenge itself and the sector by setting new benchmarks for responsible sourcing. The campaign was designed to bring these core values and Gemfields’ associated initiatives to life, highlighting the breadth of activities involved in responsibly supplying coloured gemstones to global markets. “We wanted to bring to life the many stories behind responsibly sourcing precious gemstones in Africa as there is far more to our business than industry-leading mining and geology”, explains Emily Dungey, Group Marketing and Communications Director. “The characters in the campaign allow us to build awareness of the many life-changing community projects we carry out, our pioneering quest for greater transparency across the industry and the support we provide for vital conservation work protecting Africa’s biodiversity. The campaign is a snapshot of who we are: it’s fun, unexpected and non-conformist, but also gives an insight into some of the ways in which Gemfields strives to leave a positive and lasting impact.”
The campaign film is set in a contemporary art gallery, closing for the night, when the sculptures come to life through movement and dance. Each character moves with unique style, unveiling their distinctive role in the Gemfields ecosphere. The six sculptures were designed and brought to life for Gemfields by MPC Creative using motion capture, VFX and CGI animation. The first character, a faceted female form, half emerald and half ruby, embodies the gemstones that underpin Gemfields’ drive for Transparency, the founding principle of the business. Gemfields’ extractive operations, combined with its proprietary grading and auction systems, are all designed to bring a reliable supply of responsibly sourced gemstones to market with an unprecedented level of transparency. Gemfields has partnered with Switzerland’s Gübelin Gem Lab in launching a breakthrough technology entitled ‘Provenance Proof’, empowering traceability back to the mine of origin and providing consumers and Gemfields’ Authorised Auction Partners with certainty that their gemstones started their journey with Gemfields.
As Transparency dances through the gallery, her arm brushes a second character – a petite paper sculpture featuring hand-writing and emeralds. The scroll-like figure personifies Gemfields’ Education programmes. Gemfields supports life-changing initiatives for the communities near its mines in three key spheres: Health, Livelihoods and Education. It has constructed four schools in Mozambique and established three in Zambia, as well as providing university scholarships in the fields of mining and geology. In total, more than 2,500 pupils are now attending these schools and classes for adults have been added to allow parents to keep up with the next generation.
Transparency and Education awaken a valiant rhino sculpture carved from wood, half-dipped in recycled green gold and replete with emerald eyes. An iconic African symbol of Conservation, the rhino was chosen to reflect Gemfields’ work with conservation partners to protect Africa’s wildlife and biodiversity, including the Niassa Carnivore Project and Quirimbas National Park in Mozambique and the Zambian Carnivore Programme spanning several Zambian reserves.
The three characters run together through the gallery until they reach a dominating, vibrant, abstract painting featuring human forms dramatically poised around a Fabergé egg. The central figure emerges from the painting to join the energetic trio. He represents Gemfields’ community initiatives to improve the Health care and well-being of those living around its mines. Before Gemfields introduced formalised mining operations, these remote communities had little or no access to healthcare. Cholera, malaria, HIV and dysentery were commonplace. Now, two mobile health clinics in Mozambique serve six remote villages of around 10,000 people. In Zambia, a further 10,000 people benefit from a significantly upgraded health centre and maternity ward. The presence of a Fabergé egg reflects Fabergé’s role as a vital component of Gemfields’ ‘mine and market’ vision. Wholly-owned by Gemfields Group, Fabergé is famed for its ingenious use of coloured gemstones, innovative techniques and workmasters-of-distinction to create highly coveted jewellery befitting Gemfields’ most prized emeralds and rubies.
The dance energetically builds as the characters surround a large-scale hanging installation. Comprising bright blue feathers and sparkling rubies, its colouring is inspired by the lilac-breasted roller, a native African bird. This character signifies Livelihoods, the third of Gemfields’ local initiatives and is a nod to the chicken farms created to empower local women. Gemfields set up the farms with local women, teaching them how to manage these autonomously and then transferring the projects as independent, fully functioning businesses providing self-sufficiency for the women. Gemfields strives to leave a positive, lasting legacy in the communities it touches that will long outlive its presence and support ongoing economic sustainability, including in agricultural projects. Gemfields has created two farming associations in Zambia and nine farming associations (two of them run by women) in Mozambique. Training in agricultural techniques such as crop rotation, pest control and conservation farming has increased yields by up to 200%, advancing quality of life from sustainable livelihoods in the local area.
The characters dance to the base of a flowering Baobab tree, the ‘tree of life’. This iconic African motif embodies Sustainability, Gemfields’ approach to communities near its mining operations. By its very nature, mining impacts the environment, but Gemfields seeks to minimise this where possible. Gemfields does not use chemical substances that are hazardous to health or pollute. Before mining commences, seeds are collected from indigenous plants and trees to create a seed-bank and the rich top soil is stored for re-deployment. Gemfields re-fills and re-plants as part of an ongoing integrated mining process, reducing impact to the site and maintaining biodiversity. The film’s ‘tree of life’ is inspired by a real-life Baobab tree which sits directly within the mineralised ruby mining area in Mozambique. Gemfields has mined around it, leaving the magnificent tree standing on an island, pending rehabilitation of the surrounding area. The film concludes with an explosion of Baobab flowers, the exuberant characters poised in their original gallery positions and two gently floating flowers – with hearts of ruby and emerald – the only evidence of the magical activities. Similarly, Gemfields’ mine sites will return substantially to their original state, leaving in place the wider positive effects of improved community healthcare, education, sustainable livelihoods and conservation efforts.
‘Every Piece Unique’ highlights how each gemstone is distinctive, possessing its own personality and character, much like original pieces of art. The film continues the narrative of Gemfields’ ‘A Story in Every Gemstone’ campaign, building a greater understanding of the vigour behind responsibly sourcing emeralds and rubies from their origins in Zambia and Mozambique.
The campaign was created by adam&eveDDB with production carried out by Gutenberg Global and media planning and buying carried out by Havas LuxHub Media. The Moving Picture Company (MPC) in collaboration with FutureDeluxe produced and directed the campaign film, with characters brought to life by MPC Creative, using VFX and CGI animation.
Gemfields’ Every Piece Unique campaign launched globally on 1 October 2018.