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An emerald from the Kagem mine in Lufwanyama has been successfully laser-inscribed with microscopic traceability information and a personalised message in a world-first by the mine’s operator Gemfields and its sister company Fabergé.

Emeralds from the Kagem mine in Lufwanyama.

The 4.11 carat lively green emerald-cut gemstone was mined at Kagem emerald mine in Lufwanyama, which is 75 per cent owned by Gemfields in partnership with the Zambian government, which owns the remaining 25 per cent. The gem was acquired and mounted by Fabergé as a custom-crafted item for the successful winner of a charity auction held by the charity mothers2mothers at Salma Hayek Pinault’s London home in November.

As part of the prize, the winners will also travel to Gemfields’ Kagem mine in Zambia to see for themselves the very source of their unique emerald, as well as the mine’s community projects in place in the area. The winners will also have the opportunity to visit the local mothers2mothers initiatives.

The girdle of the emerald is laser-engraved with a secret message chosen by the winner, the reference number of the gemstone’s Gübelin laboratory certificate, and a Gemfields reference number. Magnification of approximately 20x is required to read the information. The laser-inscription process has no effect on the colour, clarity or other characteristics of the gem.

The Kagem emerald mine in Lufwanyama.Gemfields and Kagem CEO Sean Gilbertson said: “Gemfields is thrilled to unveil another exciting advance, simultaneously supporting both the traceability and the romance of precious coloured gemstones. Gemfields’ belief that there is ‘A story in every gemstone’ is taken to a new level by laser-engraving a personalised message on a gem. We wish to thank the dynamic team at the AnchorCert Gem Lab for their assistance with this project.
In line with its industry leading approach to transparency, Gemfields has previously announced innovations in improving gemstone traceability. In 2015, Gemfields announced together with Gübelin that Gübelin gemstone certificates could, at the request of Gübelin’s clients, disclose on the certificate the identity of the party presenting the gemstone to Gübelin for analysis. In 2017, Gemfields and Gübelin unveiled a ‘paternity testing’ mechanism whereby un-cut gemstones could be tagged at source with specially encoded nano-particles which would survive cutting, polishing and treatment processes, allowing the mine-of-origin of the gemstone to be determined years or decades later.

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