News: Miners find rare 5,655-carat ‘Lion Emerald’ in Zambia


Miners have found a rare high-quality 5,655-carat stone, dubbed Inkalamu, or the Lion Emerald, in Zambia, but profits from the gem will go mostly to foreigners.

Kagem Mining discovered the golden green diamond weighing more than 2 pounds at Kagem, the world’s largest emerald mine in Lufwanyama. It will be auctioned in Singapore next month.

The London-based Gemfields owns 75 percent of the open-pit mine and the Zambian government owns 25 percent through the Industrial Development Corporation of Zambia.

“It’s difficult to estimate how many individual gems will be cut from Inkalamu, but the cutting expertise of Gemfields’ auction partners will mean that this gemstone will make its mark in the history books of exceptional gemstones,” Gemfields gemmologist Elena Basaglia said. “This lion’s resulting offspring – ‘The Pride of Inkalamu’ so to speak – will continue the legacy for generations to come!”

Geologist Debapriya and veteran emerald miner Richard Kapeta discovered the Inkalamu in the eastern part of the mine earlier this month.

The stone is nearly twice the size of the world’s biggest rough diamond, the Cullinan, which was discovered near Pretoria in South Africa in 1905.

However, it is not likely to be worth as much because emeralds are more common and hard to value.

By Sommer Brokaw

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