Home / Features / Zambian emeralds take centre stage in fund-raising jewellery collection

Zambian emeralds take centre stage in fund-raising jewellery collection

Emeralds responsibly sourced from the Kagem mine in Lufwanyama will form the centrepiece of a new fine jewellery collection that will raise funds for the Gemfields Foundation, Gemfields’ charitable arm that supports community and conservation projects in Africa.

On the heels of her 10th anniversary and the start of a new year, renowned US-based designer Sandy Leong is renewing her commitment to sustainability by collaborating with world-leading gemstone supplier Gemfields on the release of Sol, a new collection rooted in the brand’s values and featuring responsibly sourced emeralds, 18 karat recycled yellow gold, and conflict-free white diamonds.

The first-of-its-kind partnership will support the ongoing efforts of the Gemfields Foundation by contributing 10 per cent of all sales from the Sol collection towards specific projects centred on children and education.

The Sol collection is comprised of 18 original pieces sculpted in Sandy Leong’s signature organic silhouettes. Each piece was made available for purchase ahead of World Water Day on March 22, 2021.

Each year World Water Day ushers the international community into six weeks of sustainably focused conversations, running through Earth Month in April. To launch the Sol Collection during this time is to reiterate a commitment to sustainability on a global stage and to make a business pledge to enhance the lives of others.

“I started my company with sustainability and humanitarianism at its core and have always looked to partner with like-minded businesses who share similar values. Aside from the fact that Gemfields has the best gemstones in the world, I love that their company ethos includes engaging with and supporting the local communities in and around where their projects take place,” explains founder and designer Sandy Leong.

“Gemfields is delighted to partner with Sandy Leong, whose business has placed sustainability at its very core since inception. This like-minded approach to responsible business practices, coupled with a shared love of emeralds makes Sandy Leong a perfect partner and we’re so thankful for the support to our newly formed Gemfields Foundation,” said Emily Dungey, Marketing & Communications Director of Gemfields & Managing Director of the Gemfields Foundation.

Design Journey

Sandy Leong designs jewellery driven by great respect for the natural world and the communities that inhabit it. Therefore it was an instinctive progression to work alongside Gemfields on the development of the Sol collection, sourcing both petite and statement emeralds from the Kagem mine in the Copperbelt Province of Zambia.

Designed and developed under the sun in Amagansett, New York, the Sol collection is aptly named for the surprising fact that most of the light that comes from the sun is a miraculous shade of green, not dissimilar to Gemfields’ vibrant Zambian emeralds.

Once gemstones are sourced, each piece is created by hand in New York by fine jewellery artisans who use time-honoured techniques of gem setting, and a proprietary method of gold brushing to create Sandy Leong’s trademark 18 karat matte gold finish.

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