21 Jul 2019
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The Zeal of Zambia
By: Diamond World News Service
Dec 28 2017 6:05PM
Reference: 15942  

Zambia is a treasure-trove of natural resources. The Zambian tag to be it emeralds, amethysts, aquamarines or any other gemstone makes it indisputably priceless and precious. By Vijetha Rangabashyam

A land that overflows with rich resources that nature has to offer, Zambia is known for its lucrative mining heritage. Enveloped by Congo on the north, Tanzania on the north-east, Malawi to the east, Angola to the west and Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, the Zambian economy has been highly dependent on its copper resources and its coloured gemstone deposits to generate income.

A scrutiny into the mining history of Zambia throws light on the fact that a probable discovery of gemstones in the region happened as early as 1928 by a Rhodesian Congo Company in a place called Miku. Then, the Brazilian mining conglomerate Rio Tinto set its foot in Zambia in 1953. However, at that time, both these mining companies were unsuccessful in finding any gemstone deposits. But in the late 60’s, a geological survey in the region led to the discovery of a plethora of gemstone deposits and in turn opened the gates to mining companies from all over the world. Zambia then became known for not just copper but also gemstones like emeralds, amethysts, opals, aquamarines and more.

Today, Zambia still remains one of the biggest exporters of emeralds in the rough form, accounting for almost 20 per cent of global supplies following Colombia and Brazil. Though training the locals in cutting and polishing has been gradually undertaken since 2011, Lapidary was nonexistent in this sector – Zambia’s role to a large extent even today goes as far as producing crude gemstones.

Gemstones Found in Zambia

Amethyst – Some of the best and rarest quality of amethysts are found in the Kalomo & Mumbwa regions of Zambia. The amethysts found here are of deep, violet in hue and those with specs of red in them are supposed to be most precious in value.

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