The world’s largest producer of green stones has unearthed a 5,655-carat emerald crystal at its mines in Zambia.
The stone, which weighs more than 1.1 kg (almost 2.5 lbs), was found at the Gemfield mines in Kagem, the company said in a statement Monday.
It has “remarkable clarity and a perfectly balanced golden green hue,” the statement said.
The stone was discovered in an open mine on October 2, by geologist Debapriya Rakshit and emerald miner Richard Kapeta.
Emeralds are rare and more valuable than diamonds, driving their demand in the market. Most of the world’s emeralds are mined in Zambia, Colombia, and Brazil.
Elena Basaglia, Gemfields’ gemologist, said there’s been growing interest in Zambia’s emeralds, particularly from dealers in Europe.
“We are experiencing strikingly increased demand for high-quality Zambian emeralds from the major brands, particularly in Europe, all of whom admire the rich color and unique transparency of our gems — qualities that make them unique among emeralds,” Basaglia said.
Previously, in 2010, miners at the mine found a 6,225-carat emerald they named the “elephant” due to its massive size.