Gemfields PLC had organised its first rough emerald and beryl auction for this year, in Jaipur, India, between 11-15 March 2010, and the auction has turned out to be a record breaking event for the company. The auction was orchestrated by Gemfields’ Product Director Adrian Banks.
Altogether 28.9 million carats of principally lower quality rough emeralds and beryl were offered in 56 separate lots at the auction. This was the largest auction for Gemfields in terms of sales realised and weight of the gemstones sold. Also, the sales figures at the auction amounted to USD 7.2 million, with 89 percent (by value) of material sold, which was also considered a world record in terms of the volume of Zambian emerald and beryl on offer by weight (with 5.78 tonnes of material on offer). Twenty-five companies from India attended the auction, which indicated a healthy consumer participation and product demand, underlining the strengthening of the emerald market.
Ian Harebottle, CEO of Gemfields, commented: “Gemfields is pleased to have delivered a successful auction at the start of the Indian IPL cricket season, demonstrating that the emerald pipeline from Zambia through to the end consumer is showing a steady increase in demand. Jaipur marked our first low grade auction and the improvement in market sentiment was palpable. We were particularly pleased to further cement our relationships with our various customers, laying the path for Zambian emeralds to take the lead in the supply of ethical gemstones of guaranteed provenance. The popularity of Zambian emeralds was reinforced by the bespoke 46664 Nelson Mandela bracelet worn by Morgan Freeman at last week’s Oscars.”
Gemfields sets undisclosed reserve prices for each lot in advance of its auctions where participation is by invitation only. Gemfields has undertaken marketing efforts to promote the Zambian emeralds, which has even resulted in celebrities like Morgan Freeman wearing them at the Academy Awards in bespoke Nelson Mandela “46664” bracelets.