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The world’s most expensive Zambian emerald is now at Diacolor’s store in Delhi

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By Aliya Ladhabhoy

Diacolor’s store in DLF Emporio, Delhi, was buzzing with activity on June 7. The glitterati had gathered to get a glimpse of the jewellery brand’s recent acquisition – the most expensive Zambian emerald rough in the world. As the store plunged into darkness, the curtain was pulled aside to reveal a gigantic emerald rough that glowed with an intense hue. Christened as the Inkalamu, which translates to Lion in Zambia’s Bemba dialect, this stone is a whopping 5655-carats.

Diacolor, known for its designer gem-laden creations, acquired the stone at Gemfield’s Singapore auction for an undisclosed amount. It surpasses all the previous emerald rough found at Gemfield’s Kagem mine in Zambia in terms of its combined size, colour and clarity.

While the auction was held in November 2018, the stone came to India only a fortnight ago and its arrival called for a celebration. Rajkumar Tongya, Founder and Chairman of Diacolor along with the Zambian High Commissioner Judith K.K.Kan’gona Kapijimpanga unveiled the perfectly balanced golden green-hued stone.

Rajkumar Tongya and Rishabh Tongya

Rishabh Tongya, Creative Director of the brand, commented that he gets goosebumps every time he sees the stone. “It is a matter of great pride and joy for us to be unveiling something so spectacular. It is a beautiful work of art by mother nature.”

When we asked if they had already made plans on how to use the stone, the father and son duo said that they don’t plan to cut the stone soon. “We want to work with museums in India and perhaps loan it to them for a period of time so that many more people can get a glimpse of this rare gem,” informed Rishabh.

“We want to highlight India’s heritage and legacy of unique and precious gemstones,” explained Rishabh. He added that they want to draw focus to India’s lapidary centres that have been cutting and polishing some of the finest gemstones in the worlds for many years now.

The Inkalamu-5655 carat

Rajkumar Tongya commented that the Inkalamu emerald is truly a unique find. “At Diacolor, we offer the finest quality of jewellery to our customers and this acquisition will go down in history.” He added that it will take time to come up with an idea that befits the legacy of the stone. Even their earlier acquisition, a 6100-carat Insofu emerald rough acquired in 2010 from Gemfield’s Kagem mine is yet to be cut and polished.

The Tongyas have been in the gemstone cutting and polishing business for generations and has collaborated with global brands for jewellery production. Backed with this expertise, they founded Diacolor in 2011. Their rapport with miners and gemstone producers from around the world enables them to source the finest gemstones out there. “I believe that if a product is beautiful, it will find appreciators,” noted Rishabh.

When it comes to their expansion plans, an experiential store in Jaipur is on the cards. In terms of product offerings, the brand is also a franchisee of de Grisogono watches. Diacolor is in talks with the world’s top two watch brands. “Hopefully, in another couple of months, we will have another reason to celebrate,” concludes Rishabh.

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