Prince of Kafubu, a colossal $2 million emerald, shines in Sharjah

The uncut rock weighs 3.9kg and is on display until Sunday

Powered by automated translation

Visitors are taking a shine to a $2 million emerald at the Watch and Jewellery Middle East Show, which began on Wednesday.

Dubbed the Prince of Kafubu and weighing 3.9kg, it is one of the biggest rough gem-quality emeralds in the world. It comes in at 19,000 carats.

The five-day showcase is littered with precious gemstones and metals. It gathers many of the region's master jewellers under one roof.

The main draw is the emerald, which was mined by Grizzly Mining in the Kafubu area (hence its name) of Zambia.

“This is really a one-of-a-kind gem-quality rock certified by Swiss jeweller Gubelin,” says Mahima Verma, co-founder and chief executive of World Academy of Design, which is displaying the rough emerald on behalf of the Zambian miner.

Gem quality, she explains, refers to a rock's "lustre, clarity and colour”, and its value usually depends on where it is mined from. Although emerald deposits are found across the globe, Zambia is the world's second-largest producer.

Zambian emeralds, experts say, often have a deeper, more saturated green hue compared to their Colombian counterparts. They also have great clarity, making them ideal rocks for mounting in jewellery.

The exhibition is part of the World Academy of Design's showcase of emerald-fitted jewellery pieces that are also displayed alongside the rough rock – from opulent wedding tiaras and flamboyant necklaces to dazzling rings and bracelets. The pieces, as well as the rough emerald, aren't for sale, but potential buyers can still express their interest.

Called the Jewel of Kings, the emerald isn't only associated with royalty, but also with rebirth and fertility, mainly owing to its verdant hue.

In India, an emerald ring worn on the little finger is said to attract prosperity.

It is the latest in a long line of similar exhibitions hosted in Dubai. Last year, a rare pink diamond and ruby worth an estimated $65 million were auctioned by Sotheby's Dubai. The year before that, Burj Alhamal, an 8,400-carat rough ruby weighing 2.8kg, made its public debut in the city.

Watch & Jewellery Middle East Show runs until Sunday. More information is available at

Updated: January 31, 2024, 12:08 PM