Responsibly Sourced Emeralds, from Zambia

Coveted for their striking green hue, emeralds are amongst the most desired gemstones on the planet.

Emeralds form when a rare combination of minerals meet specific rock types with contrasting characteristics, in a unique geological environment. The Kagem emerald mine is one such area. Located in Kafubu, on the Copper Belt area of Central Zambia, it is the “world’s single largest producer of emeralds.” Though in existence for over half a million years, Emeralds were only discovered in this region during the 1920’s. Commercial mining began in the 1970’s. Since then, Zambia has become one of the most significant sources for emeralds, in the world.

Kagem mine was acquired in 2008 by UK-based mining company Gemfields, in partnership with the Government of the Republic of Zambia. Gemfields’ sustainable mining practices have led to a stable, standardized and transparent emerald supply chain, allowing access to responsibly sourced Zambian Emeralds, as well as ensuring the welfare of the local community. As an increasingly popular choice for investment, many clients prioritize the traceability of the gemstone.

"Open pit mine at Kagem Emerald Mine, Zambia"


The most desirable emerald shades are bluish green to pure green, with vivid color saturation of a medium tone.

Zambian emeralds typically have a beautiful intense, slightly bluish, green color. This comes from the presence of chromium, iron and beryllium, all adding to the gems depth and uniform color.


Inclusions are natural features almost always found inside an emerald. They give an identity to each gem. Inclusions help gemologists identify the origin and distinguish between natural, synthetic or treated gemstones.

While emerald measures 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale of hardness, and is durable, the inclusions and fissures that form internally can cause weakness to its structure.

If an emerald is “too clean”, it should be checked by an expert for authenticity.

Fracture filling the fissures with an oil, resin or polymer, is a treatment used make inclusions less visible. It can conceal cavities or fractures that make the emerald vulnerable and increase the emerald’s apparent transparency.

Zambian emeralds require fewer man-made treatments, emphasizing their natural beauty, thus increasing their value. Due to the way they form, Zambian emeralds have a more intact crystal structure than Colombian ones. These gemstones generally have a higher level of clarity which allows them to reflect light better, thereby also enhancing their color.

Treatments of emeralds are widely accepted, however they must always be disclosed so the client is completely aware of their purchase and the gems history.

Carat weight

A carat is a standard unit to measure the weight of a gemstone. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams. The value of a gemstone varies according to its number of carats as well as its rarity. A selection of gemstones might be equal in weight but differ in price because they differ in quality. A smaller emerald with a high carat weight may be more valuable than a larger emerald with a lower clarity, colour or cut.


Emeralds can be cut into various shapes, the most common being the “emerald cut”, named after the gemstone. A popular cut influenced by the hexagonal crystal structure of the emerald, precisely cut parallel facets extend downward from the top open facet, allowing the color to glimmer through.

Round, oval, pear and cabochon cuts are also available. Princess, trillion and other brilliant cuts are less common but can be sourced.

Find your shade of green

Find the perfect Gemfields emerald to create a truly personal piece that shows off the magnificence of nature. Contact us here with your requirements.

    Using responsibly sourced Zambian emeralds from