Emblem of emerald: In Zambia was found a huge stone of 5.655 carats


Written by Bukola Adebayo, CNN

The largest green stone producer in the world has discovered a crystal-like emerald of 5.655 carats in its mines in Zambia.

The stone, weighing more than 1.1 kilograms (about 2.5 pounds), was found at Gemfield mines at Kagem, a company statement said in a statement Monday.

The emerald is called "Inkalamu", meaning "lion" in the local language of Zambia Bemba. It will be cut into smaller pieces and will be auctioned in Singapore in November.

The 5,655-carat Lion Emerald

The 5,655-carat Lion Emerald Credit: Gemfields

It has "remarkable clarity and a perfectly balanced golden green tint," the statement said.

The stone was found in an open mine on October 2, by the geologist Debapriya Rakshit and the emerald coal miner Richard Kapeta.

Emeralds are rare and more precious than diamonds, driving their demand into the market. Most emeralds in the world are mined in Zambia, Colombia and Brazil.

Elena Basaglia, a Gemfields gemologist, said there was growing interest in Zambian emeralds, particularly from dealers in Europe.

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"We are experiencing an impressively increased demand for high quality emerald ham of the largest brands, especially in Europe, which all admire the rich color and unique transparency of our gems – properties that make them unique among the emeralds," said Basaglia.

The gem is not the largest emerald stone found in the mines of the company. In 2010, Zimbabwe miners found an emerald of 6.225 carats that named the "elephant" because of its huge size.