Gemfields hits price per carat record in Lusaka

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Producer’s higher quality rough reaches £35 per carat average.

Gemfields’ recent auction of predominantly higher quality rough emerald and beryl in Lusaka, Zambia, bought the company’s second highest auction result to date, totalling US$31.5 million (£20.5m).

The auction took place between July 15 to 19, with the average price per carat hitting a record US$54 (£35). All of the 583,448 carats placed on offer by Gemfields were sold including an "exceptional" 54ct rough gem that also achieved a price per carat record.

Gemfields said that upbeat market conditions underpinned robust increases in quality-for-quality per carat prices. The company has held 13 auctions since 2009 generating a total $207.3 million (£135.2m) in total revenues.

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A total of 40 companies were invited to the auction held in Lusaka and 37 attended, with 36 attendees placing at least one bid. The auction was held in Lusaka at the request of the Zambian Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development, following its call to auction Zambian gemstones inside the country rather than overseas.

Gemfields chief executive Ian Harebottle said: "Favourable market conditions and particularly strong demand from our customers have yielded excellent auction results and record per carat prices. All indications show that demand for coloured gemstones, and especially emeralds, will continue to increase at a steady pace over the coming year.

"We are delighted that this auction underscores Lusaka as a key hub in the international emerald trade and we would like to thank the Zambian Government for their support."

Harebottle said that, going forwards, Gemfields’ focus will be directed at keeping the current momentum going and on developing Zambian emeralds as "the favoured choice".

He added: "Our investments and efforts in marketing Zambian emeralds worldwide are clearly working. The key is for Zambia to be seen as the most competitive, reliable and trusted source of ethically produced gemstones. Transparency and accountability are crucial to underpinning the integrity of the industry and to establishing Zambian emeralds as the preferred emerald brand among global consumers."
 

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