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Mining

Zambian emerald receives world's first laser inscription

Mining company Gemfields said on Friday it had successfully laser-inscribed an emerald from its Kagem mine in Lufwanyama district in the Copperbelt with microscopic traceability information and a personalised message, the first such achievement in the world.

Gemfields said the 4.11 carat lively green emerald-cut gemstone was mined at Kagem, in which it has a 75% while the Zambian government owns 25%.

The gem was acquired and mounted by sister company Fabergé as a custom-crafted item for the successful winner of a charity auction held by the charity mothers2mothers in London.

“Gemfields is thrilled to unveil another exciting advance, simultaneously supporting both the traceability and the romance of precious coloured gemstones," CEO Sean Gilbertson said.

Gemfields has previously announced innovations in improving gemstone traceability.

Last year, it unveiled a 'paternity testing’ mechanism with jewellery firm Gübelin, whereby un-cut gemstones could be tagged with specially encoded nano-particles which would survive cutting, polishing and treatment processes, allowing the mine-of-origin of the gemstone to be determined years or decades later.

Gemfields also holds a 50% interest in the Kariba amethyst mine in Zambia's Southern Province, and operates the Montepuez ruby mine in Mozambique, one of the most significant recently discovered ruby deposits in the world, as well as controlling interests in various other gemstone mining and prospecting licenses in  Mozambique, Colombia, Ethiopia, Madagascar and Sri Lanka.