International auction house Phillips will, this month, put on sale the largest collection of Zambian emeralds ever to be offered on auction.
Part of the proceeds will go to the Gemfields Foundation, which supports community and conservation projects in Africa.
The Treasures of Zambia: An Exceptional Emerald Collection comprises about 45 lots, including 993 ct of fine Zambian emeralds. The gemstones were mined by Gemfields, which owns the Kagem emerald mine together with the Zambian government.
Phillips features some of the world’s most important twentieth-century and contemporary works of art, design jewels, watches, photographs and editions.
The auction house is set to open the emerald bidding on November 23, running until December 2.
“Zambian emeralds make rare appearances at auction. They were discovered more recently than their Colombian counterparts but are far older in formation. The majority of the fine gemstones we see today remained unearthed until the 1970s.
“It is perhaps for this reason that Colombian emeralds have commanded a premium, for it certainly cannot be said that Zambian emeralds are inferior in quality. On the contrary, their composition lends itself to superior levels of clarity and size and a distinctive vivid bluish green colour, which adds to the overall depth of the gem,” Phillips explains in a release.
The auction house continues to state that, to certain collectors and gem connoisseurs, top-quality Zambian emeralds are now held in equal esteem to those of Colombian origin.