To celebrate this week’s sale of Chipembele, Gemfields’ largest high-quality emerald to date, the company has once again led the way in innovation, partnering with Gübelin’s Provenance Proof to raise funds for conservation whilst enhancing transparency and trust in charitable donations through the Proof of Donation initiative.
The Gemfields NFT series, called “the Chipembele Crash”, comprises six unique rhinoceros avatars (a “crash” being the collective term for a group of rhinos).Each avatar featuresthe characteristic emerald inclusions photographed inside Chipembele; andeach one has been inspired by a real-life rhino at the North Luangwa Conservation Programme (NLCP) in Zambia,evencarrying the individual ear-notch of the animal, as well as accessories that give a glimpse into its distinctive personality. An exclusive photo of each rhino is provided as unlockable content to the NFT.
The Chipembele Crash, minted by Provenance Proof, will be sold via auction on OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace, with viewing available from 8 December, auction opening on 13 December and bids closing 19 December. Funds raised from the sale of each member of the Chipembele Crash will go to the North Luangwa Conservation Programme to aid critical black rhinoceros conservation efforts, which will add to the donation Gemfields has already pledged from the sale of the Chipembele emerald.
"Gemfields is excited to embrace innovative technology in supporting conservation efforts in Africa. We are delighted to celebrate the Chipembele emerald in this manner and to promote our belief in ‘conservation gemstones’. The Chipembele Crash NFTs are fun, unique and rooted in supporting the vital efforts of Zambia’s North Luangwa Conservation Programme. We hope that the NFTs appeal to likeminded thinkers and secure meaningful donations to help even more black rhinos in Zambia," said Sean Gilbertson, CEO of Gemfields.
Donations and charity programmes supporting the people and environment can make a pivotaldifference and create positive impacts. Trusted third parties aid in making sure transactions are transparent and independent, enabling maximum impact. Provenance Proof has pioneered transparency and traceability in the gem and jewellery industry. Klemens Link, Head of Provenance Proof, explains: “With Proof of Donation, all parties benefit and can be confident in the knowledge that donations will be transferred without any loss in value,whilebuyers can benefit from the added value of the NFTs. Gemfields, always open tonew technologies, is a perfect partner to pioneer this exciting journey into fully transparent and traceable donations.”Six rhinos at theNorth Luangwa Conservation Programme, which operatesinthe North Luangwa National Park (NLNP),make upthe avatarsof the Chipembele Crash: Intanda, Kango, Mapalo, Mwamba, Subilo and Tamala.
Intanda (‘star’) was still a little girl when she was translocated to NLNP in 2008. She was shy and used to wander far, choosing to rest near the security base each evening so she could hear the officers and smell their fire. She has since found her independence and has calves of her own. Intanda is easy to spot as she has two floppy ears.
Kango (‘chief’ in the local Senga language) had an inauspicious start atNLNP. He spent quite a few years trying, but failing, to adapt and was bullied by more dominant bulls. Eventually, NLCP took him in and kept him semi-captive for two years, feeding him up, giving him the chance to recover from his fighting wounds, and allowing his stress levels to drop. Fast forward to his re-release and, what a change! Kango has gone on to become a dominant bull, with lady rhinos of his own and a few offspring carrying his genes.
Mapalo(‘blessing’) was translocated to NLNP in 2003 in the first batch of five rhinos to be reintroduced to the park since they were declared nationally extinct a decade before. Mapalo’s tiara and sharp sabre-like front horn are apt for this feisty mother who fiercely protects her young, often sending the monitoring officers up the trees to hide!
Mwamba (meaning ‘at the top’) is part of the NLNP black rhino royalty. Descended from the dominant male and one of the adult females reintroduced in 2003, he has always shown bravado and maturity, and is full of fun. From a very young age, he was seen scraping his dung, a behaviour known in adult males to signal their dominance. The smell on their feet is then spread along the game trails they walk, leaving a call sign telling everyone who walks that way that this is my place!
Subilo (‘hope’) is suave, sophisticated and the older statesman of the bunch. Arriving in NLNP as a confident 12-year-old bull, he was ready to take on the world and he did just that. He exerted his dominance over a large swathe of the conservation area, butting other bulls to the edges and siring multiple calves with his harem of females. As black rhinos go, he’s one of the best – sweet and mild during translocation but a tough rhino to track and monitor, with a reputation for being a little grouchy!
Tamala means ‘last born’, as she was the last rhino from the reintroduced animals to be released into NLNP in 2010. Her adaptation to the vegetation, social pressure, ticks, flies, and everything around her has been seamless. At one with the world when relaxing in a muddy wallow, she’s the original earth-child. She is cool and calm, just like the soil beneath our feet.
Further information about the Chipembele emerald:
Weighing 7,525 carats (1,505g), Chipembele – which means ‘rhino’ in the local indigenous dialect of Bemba – was discovered at the Kagem emerald mine in Zambia this July and has just gone under the hammer at Gemfields’ most recent emerald auction, with winning bids announced on 7 December.
The winning bidder for Chipembele, Eshed – Gemstar,will benefit from the unique DNA nanoparticle tagging carried by Chipembele and developed by Provenance Proof, ensuring that the cut-and-polished gems that it yields can be identified and certified as having originated from this extraordinary gemstone. Eshed – Gemstarwill also receive one of the Chipembele Crash NFTs, which will be purchased on their behalf by Gemfields with the funds raised going to NLCP.
Further information about Proof of Donation:
With a track record of providing transparency and trust through technology within the gem and jewellery sector, Provenance Proof is now launching Proof of Donation, a new service designed to securely track and trace donations to enhance trust in philanthropic projects by applying cutting-edge technology.
Provenance Proof is combining its reputation of providing third-party-confirmed transparency within the industry with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) based on a public blockchain to enable handling all transactions in a transparent and trusted manner on behalf of the initiator.
Proof of Donation provides:
Philanthropic alignment through supporting charity programmes