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Chipembele, 7,525-carat (1.505kg), new Guinness World Records title for the Largest uncut emerald

LUFWANYAMA, ZAMBIA – Kagem’s largest high-quality emerald ever found has broken the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for Largest uncut emerald, as verified on 22 April 2022.

The accolade was jointly unveiled by a delegation from Gemfields Group and Eshed – Gemstar at Gem Geneva – the world-renowned gem and jewellery show recently. 

Traditionally, only the rarest and most remarkable emeralds are given names. Shortly after its discovery at Gemfields’ Kagem Mine in Lufwanyama District on the Copperbelt, the extraordinary 7,525-carat (1.505kg), single-crystal was christened Chipembele – meaning “Rhino” in Bemba.

Kagem donated a share of the proceeds from the sale of Chipembele at auction to the North Luangwa Conservation Programme in Zambia, to aid critical black rhinoceros conservation efforts. Eshed – Gemstar will also contribute a share from their future sales of Chipembele.

From left to right: Liran Eshed (Eshed – Gemstar), Elena Basaglia (Gemfields), Avraham Eshed & Lior Eshed (Eshed – Gemstar). Courtesy of Richa Goyal.

Kagem is the world’s largest single-producing emerald mine, owned by Gemfields in partnership with the Zambian government. It has yielded a number of exceptional gemstones in recent times, but none more so than Chipembele, whose discovery in July 2021 left the geologist team who excavated it speechless. They believe it formed under near perfect conditions, allowing the combination of the elements beryllium, chromium and vanadium to crystallise into a large, distinct hexagonal crystal with glassy surfaces and a rich golden green colour.

The rarity of Chipembele is evident when looking at its unusually large size, coupled with an incredible transparency and vivid green colour. Its structure displays the emerald in its original crystal state without the presence of host rock or by-product. By shining a light through Chipembele, you can see deep within the gemstone and witness the intensity of colour and the unusual absence of inclusions.
The combination of all these desirable features would indeed be deemed rare by any industry expert.

On 5 May 2022, the second day of Gem Geneva, a very special ceremony was held to honour Eshed – Gemstar and its founder Avraham Eshed. This was followed by a champagne toast and presentation of the certificate of the Guinness World Records title, in the company of friends and colleagues from the gemstone and jewellery industries.

Eshed – Gemstar acquired the extraordinary Chipembele at the Gemfields high-quality emerald auction in November 2021.

“We congratulate Avraham on yet another achievement in his lifelong commitment to the coloured gemstone industry. Relationships with trusted partners like Eshed – Gemstar, who share Gemfields’ principles of trust and transparency, have been the driving force behind our ability to build a unique model within the coloured gemstone industry, which supports sustainable development in places like Zambia,” said Gemfields’ Managing Director – Product & Sales, Adrian Banks.

From left to right: Liran Eshed, Avraham Eshed & Lior Eshed (Eshed – Gemstar). Courtesy of Richa Goyal

A trade show organised by industry insiders, Gem Geneva is a hub of creativity and innovation and one of the most important calendar dates in the jewellery world; it was the ideal event for this exciting announcement, as well as the perfect timing for it, with emerald being the birthstone of the month of May.

Chipembele comes with unique DNA nanoparticle tagging and a blockchain ledger, both provided by Provenance Proof (a subsidiary of Gübelin Gem Lab). This means that the resulting cut and polished gems from Chipembele can be identified and certified as having originated from this extraordinary gemstone, and therefore from the Kagem emerald mine in Zambia. This provides peace of mind and promotes trust and transparency in the industry.

The great honour of a Zambian emerald like Chipembele achieving a Guinness World Records title is sure to further the mission of raising awareness of African coloured gemstones and promoting best practices in the industry.