Gemfields record-breaking ethical emerald auction

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Company says success is indicative of interest in ethical emeralds.

Ethical emerald miner Gemfields has had its most lucrative auction, generating revenue of US$19.6 million (£12.4m) in a single auction, which the company says in reflective of the increasing demand for ethically sourced emeralds.

The sale beat its previous single auction record of US$7.5 million (£4.85mm) and made more in one day that Gemfields did in the whole of its 2010 financial year, which totalled US$18.7 million (£11.9m).

Gemfields said that a 720ct emerald crystal sold during the auction set a new record for the company for value per carat but declined to reveal how much the emerald sold for. The emerald crystal was acquired by renowned father-and-son dealers Raj Kumar and Rishabh Tongya of Precious Jewels Corporation, who have since named it The Divine Green of Zambia.

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The record-breaking auction has taken Gemfields revenue for its year to date, covering the period from July to December, to US27.1 million (£17.2m). The emeralds sold at the auction achieved an average of US$26.20 (£16.63) per carat, a price increase of 180 percent since the July 2010 auction in London.

Gemfields chief executive Ian Harebottle said: “There is a clear increase in demand for our ethical Zambian emeralds and while it is a little surprising that some parties are yet to grasp the inherent value in what Gemfields and our distribution partners are able to offer discerning consumers, today’s outstanding sales speak for themselves and demonstrate the progress we have made with our marketing strategies.

“Moreover, our pioneering and proprietary emerald grading system has set new standards and continues to mitigate pricing risk for our clients. Today’s record auction follows Kagem’s recent record quarterly production of 12.8 million carats and underpins our belief that Gemfields is entering into an exceptionally exciting phase of its development.”

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