Monday Musing: Revealed – Enigmatic Zambian Emerald


Coloured stones have their own zing. Like all beautiful things, they command attention just by existing. Have you been monitoring the latest in the resurgence of Zambian emeralds? The last few years have seen a gradual increase in demand for this (subtlety different to Columbian emerald) green. The colour variant is due to it’s physical make-up – specifically jardin (inclusions), density, pleochroism and refractive index. The Zambian emerald has a refractive index of 1.59, compared to Columbian emerald’s 1.57 (the same as other members of the precious beryl family). An additional contributing factor to highlight, is the amount of chromium present – which varies also due to the geographical source.
Once the wall of the cavity or veins on the host rock are found, the mining process begins. In Zambia, deposits are close to the town of Kitwe and the surrounding area. The well documented success of  the Kagem Mine (with shared ownership – partly with the Zambian government and partly with Gemfields) is of course in the emerald-rich  region also.

The GIA have fantastic field reports that are both certainly worth reading, and watch the video too!