KAGEM Mining has predicted an increase in the demand for Zambian coloured gemstone in the world.

Gemfields and Kagem chief executive officer Sean Gilbertson said responsible sourcing of coloured gemstones was receiving increased attention.

“Coloured gemstones were progressively becoming more valuable to consumers on the international market compared to that of colourless diamond,” Sean said.

Gilbertson noted that just in the past decade the industry saw a sharp world record prices for an emerald and ruby surpass that of a colourless diamond on a per carat basis.

Gilbertson said the swing towards precious coloured gemstones was overwhelming, and that it wasn’t going to be long before sapphires overtook diamonds, as well.

“The past decade has seen the world record prices for an emerald and ruby surpasses that of a colourless diamond on a per carat basis. It surely can’t be long before sapphires overtake diamonds too,”added Gilbertson.

Meanwhile, head of luxury research at global property consultancy Knight Frank, Andrew Shirley said coloured gemstones were beginning to outperform the wider jewellery market with some significant sales taking place already in 2019.

“At Bonham’s London sale at the end of April 2019, several coloured gemstone lots blew away their estimates.

“The top performer was a 17.43-carat Kashmir sapphire ring, formerly owned by a European noble family that fetched £723,063, far exceeding its £300,000 to £400,000 guide price,” he said.

Gemfields operates the Kagem emerald mine in Lufwanyama in partnership with the government’s Industrial development Corporation (IDC) and is at the forefront of promoting responsibly sourced Zambian emeralds in the international market.

Expectations are that a vibrant consumer interest and sector growth will continue. Responsible sourcing will receive ever-increasing attention and become progressively more important to consumers, making gemstone provenance perhaps the key driving factor.



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