American Marketer


Gemfields tells emerald’s story via undetectable transparency inscription

January 5, 2018

Raw emeralds sourced by Gemfields. Image credit: Gemfields


Colored-gemstone miner Gemfields has unveiled a laser-inscribed emerald as part of its overarching transparency approach to sourcing precious stones.

The 4.11-karat emerald is believed to be the world’s first colored gemstone to be laser-inscribed with traceability information and a personalized message. Diamond jewelry company De Beers’ ForeverMark division has executed a similar strategy for diamonds, inscribing each stone with a unique code that allows the consumer to verify and view its origins.

From mine to mount
Gemfields acquired the 4.11-karat lively green emerald from its Kagem mine in Zambia. The cut gemstone was then mounted by Gemfields-owned jeweler Fabergé as a bespoke piece for the winning bidder of a charity auction.

The stone itself was included in a charity auction benefiting Mothers2Mothers, an organization empowering mothers living with HIV that works to prevent mother-to-child transmission through education and support.

The auction was held at actress and activist Salma Hayek Pinault’s London home in November.

In addition to the emerald, the winning bidder is invited to travel to Gemfields’ Kagem mine in Zambia to see firsthand where the stone had been sourced.

The winner will also tour the mine's community projects in place in the area as a demonstration of Gemfields’ dedication to those living near and working at Kagem. Also, the winner is invited to visit local Mothers2Mothers initiatives.

Gemfields' Kagem mine in Zambia is thought to be the most-producing mine in the world. Image credit: Gemfields

As for the emerald itself, the girdle of the stone is laser-engraved with a secret message chosen by the winner, a reference number of the gemstone’s Gübelin laboratory certificate as well as a Gemfields code.

The emerald must be magnified approximately 20 times for the eye to see the inscription. The process has no effect on the emerald’s color, clarity or other characteristics.

“Gemfields is thrilled to unveil another exciting advance, simultaneously supporting both the traceability and the romance of precious colored gemstones,” said Sean Gilbertson, CEO of Gemfields, in a statement.

“Gemfields’ belief is that there is ‘A story in every gemstone’ is taken to a new level by laser-engraving a personalized message on a gem,” he said. “We wish to thank to the dynamic team at the AnchorCert Gem Lab for its assistance with this project.”

In 2017, Gemfields began providing peace of mind for its brand partners and consumers through a gemological paternity test program.

Gemfields’ Emerald Paternity Test leverages technologies developed by Gübelin, a Swiss, family-owned firm known for its gemstone expertise, high-jewelry and timepieces. The jewelry sector at large has increased its ethical and environmental responsibilities due to the many social issues that surround the mining of precious metals, diamonds and gemstones (see story).