split image of largest uncut emerald being inspected and on white background

The world's largest uncut emerald, unearthed in Zambia, weighs in at an extraordinary 7,525 carats (1.505 kg / 3 lbs and 5.09 oz).

The emerald was first discovered by geologists Manas Banerjee and Richard Kapeta and their team in July 2021 at the Kagem mine located in Zambia's Copperbelt Province.

The gigantic gem was named Chipembele, meaning "rhino" in the local indigenous dialect of the Bemba people of Zambia.

eshed gemstar largest uncut emerald

The gem was named Chipembele in reference to the notable "horn" on top of the emerald. 

The discovery of Chipembele follows two other huge emeralds previously found at the same site. 

First was Insofu, or "elephant", discovered in 2010. Then came Inkalamu, or "lion", which was found in 2018.

Insofu weighed 6,225 carats (1.245 kg / 2 lbs and 11.92 oz) and Inkalamu comes in third at 5,655 carats (1.131 kg / 2 lbs and 7.89 oz), not quite rivalling the size of Chipembele.

close up of the chipembele green emerald

All of these enormous gems were found at Kagem, an emerald mine owned by Gemfields in partnership with the Zambian government’s Industrial Development Corporation. 

Gemfields is a leading miner of responsible coloured gemstones, and specializes in emeralds from Zambia and rubies from Mozambique.

They noted that "Chipembele formed under near perfect conditions, allowing the combination of the elements to crystallize into large, distinct hexagonal crystal structures with glassy surfaces."

largest uncut emerald

Eshed - Gemstar (Israel), an international supplier that manufacture, trade and market natural diamonds and emeralds, acquired Chipembele at Gemfields' high-quality emerald auction in November 2021.

A portion of the sale proceeds were donated to the North Luangwa Conservation Programme in Zambia, which aids black rhinoceros conversation efforts.

Eshed - Gemstar suspected the colossal gem could be record-breaking and had the record verified by Guinness World Records on 22 April 2022.

For this record, the emerald had to be a natural gemstone and not one specifically modified.

This included the emerald undergoing a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) laboratory report detailing chemical analysis and composition homogeneity, shape, dimensions and mass.

"We wanted to do something really special to celebrate our relationship with Africa and African gemstones and there is nothing more suitable than breaking the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the largest uncut emerald. We are here to inspire people worldwide and introduce them to the exquisite beauty and rarity of natural gemstones – especially natural gemstones from Africa. We want to pass our knowledge and love for natural gemstones to future generations." - Avraham Eshed, President of Eshed- Gemstar

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