Gemfields Rakes in $35 Mln From Lusaka Auction

lower quality rough emerald and berylLusaka: Gemfields said it earned about $35 million in revenue from its latest auction of predominantly higher quality rough emerald from the Kagem emerald mine, which was held in Lusaka, Zambia. The auction, which started on 13 November ended last Monday.

It said in a statement that this was the second highest revenue achieved at any higher quality auction. The average price realised was $65.89 per carat, also a new record for higher quality auctions. Gemfields said of the 0.598 million carats that were offered for sale, 0.530 million carats were sold, which translates to 88.6 percent.

“Gemfields is delighted to see the continued enthusiasm for coloured gemstones so clearly reflected in our latest auction results,” said Gemfields chief executive Ian Harebottle.

“We’ve set another record for per carat prices as is evidenced by the 11 percent increase achieved versus our last higher quality auction, and have now completed six successful auctions in Zambia, all during the last 20 months.” He said Zambian emeralds were now “very well” established and “highly sought” after in the international market, playing an increasingly prominent role for many of the world’s leading jewellery houses.

“We will continue to seek a wider client base internationally, including among our new audience of rough ruby buying clients, and look forward to our ruby auction in Singapore next month which we hope will deliver a similarly pleasing outcome.”

The company’s 17 auctions of emeralds and beryl mined at Kagem since July 2009 had generated $311 million in total revenues. Gemfields’ next auction would take place in Singapore in December 2014 and would comprise rough rubies from the Montepuez ruby deposit in Mozambique.