Set in stone takes on a new meaning in the Inkalamu, the world’s biggest emerald crystal which was in Delhi yesterday. Recently acquired by Indian jewellery brand Diacolor at an auction in Singapore, the 5,655- carat stone was on display at the brand’s boutique in DLF Emporio, New Delhi, for a select few jewellery connoisseurs. 

“Our team is extremely excited to unveil this superb mother nature’s creation, which has been named as the Inkalamu,” said Rishabh Tongya, creative director, Diacolor. “It’s an unreal 5,655-carat emerald crystal of the perfect golden green hue.

 The gem was unearthed at Kagem, the world’s largest emerald mine, by London-based gemstone supplier, the Gemfields Group. Said to have remarkable clarity, it is the most expensive single emerald rough sold by Gemfields, and was offered for sale to 45 approved auction partners, chosen for their shared values in responsible practices.

The Inkalamu is said to have remarkable clarity and a perfectly balanced golden green hue
The Inkalamu is said to have remarkable clarity and a perfectly balanced golden green hue

In order to honour two of its conservation partners, the Zambian Carnivore Program and the Niassa Carnivore Project in Mozambique, Gemfields named the emerald ‘Inkalamu’ or lion in the Zambian Bemba language. As a part of its philanthropic initiatives, Gemfields will donate 10 percent of the sale proceeds of the emerald to the two organisations.

The emerald was discovered on October 2, 2018, by geologist Debapriya Rakshit and Gemfields’s veteran emerald miner Richard Kapeta. 

Adrian Banks, managing director for product and sales, Gemfields, predicts that a number of large and fine-quality cut emeralds will be craved out of the Inkamalu. “There might be hundreds of ‘offcuts’ that are fashioned into smaller gems, cabochons, and beads, but the key lies in recovering the fine quality pieces. Given this emerald is such a rare find, it is also perfectly conceivable that the buyer will choose to purchase it as an investment.”


For Rishabh and his father Rajkumar Tongya, this is not the first gemstone purchase which has made headlines. In 2010, they bought an exceptional 1,220 gm (6,100 carats) emerald, which was discovered at Kagem mine again. Owing to its sheer size and magnificence, it was named ‘Insofu’ or baby elephant. 

Featured image: Shutterstock

Video: Pranav Bhasin 

Anupam Dabral
Sr. Associate Editor
It was while studying fashion journalism at London College of Fashion that Anupam developed a keen interest in the anthropological aspect of the discipline; for him, fashion only makes sense when seen in the context of its environment. He is always on the hunt for great stories, and in his spare time binge-watches films/shows starring Whoopi Goldberg, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.