Paris, France —It was one of the great highlights of the Haute Couture week held during the last week of January in Paris, but it wasn’t on the runway. The House of Chopard revealed Insofu during the high jewelry presentations that are held at the same time. It is a wonder of nature, a gem of exceptional size and purity, a 6,225-carat rough emerald, one of the largest ever found destined to give rise to a collection of unique and singular gems. Insofu is an emerald of an extremely rare purity and quality unearthed in the Kagem mine in Zambia. Insofu means elephant in Bemba, the language of the people living in the region where the stone originated in the ground.
Exceptional stones are the hallmark of the house of Chopard, a pioneer in using stones and metals mined sustainably and responsibly. Zambia is a land renowned for the incredible fertility of its geological strata. Here a leading gemstone mining company Gemfields undertakes respectful explorations of the earth and it was here in the open-pit mine of Kagem that this emerald was found.
Insofu relfects the emerald’s land of origin since it means elephant in the local Bemba language and its shape evokes the animal’s trunk. Emerald is a dark stone that reveals its full potential during the cutting process, unlike diamonds which can be analyzed to see how the final stones will look.
“It is profoundly moving to be confronted with the beauty and mystery of such a treasure, collected from the depths of the Earth, formed millions of years ago, and which has come to us at last to be enhanced by the hand of artisans who will reveal the full extent of its beauty while transcribing the emotions it arouses,” explains Caroline Scheufele the co-president and artistic director of Chopard.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette