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  • The 187,775-carat Kafubu Cluster from Gemfields’ Kagem emerald mine. (Photo courtesy: Gemfields)

Gemfields’ 187,775-carat Emerald Cluster Sets Record Price


Gemfields sold the 187,775-carat (or 37-kilogram) emerald cluster - Kafubu Cluster at its recent auction, making it the most expensive single emerald item the company has ever sold.


The record price comes despite weakened demand and softer pricing for stones from the companys Kagem mine in Zambia. The sale was part of a series of five mini-auctions that took place between 30 October and 17 November 2022, according to the company. The sales took place online, with customers participating through a sealed-bid process.


The miner sold 401,000 carats of emeralds at an average price of $76.78 per carat, with the Kafubu Cluster comprising 44 percent of the total carat weight offered at the auction, Gemfields said. The auction generated total revenues of $30.8 million, with 34 out of 37 lots offered being sold including the Kafubu Cluster. This brings Kagems 2022 auction revenues to a new annual record of $149.4 million, up from $92.3 million in 2021. The company did not disclose the individual price garnered for the cluster. At the previous set of emerald auctions in May, a total of 278,000 carats of emeralds were sold for $156 per carat.


Gemfields’ managing director of product & sales Adrian Banks said:Our end-of-year emerald auction has delivered a pleasing and solid result despite a clear softening of both prices and sentiment when compared with the remarkable highs we enjoyed in May 2022. This has been a record-shattering year for Kagem.” 


The Kafubu Cluster was discovered in the Chama pit of the Kagem emerald mine, based in Lufwanyama in Zambia in March 2020. Kafubu is a river which forms the natural boundary of Kagem in the southern part of the Kagem licence, and it is from this that the Kafubu Cluster takes its name – honouring the unique landscape in which it was formed. Kagem is believed to be the worlds single largest producing emerald mine; it is 75-percent owned by Gemfields, in a model partnership with the Zambian government.


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