National Jeweler Network

Market Developments

For new campaign, Gemfields roughs it

By Michelle Graff

February 06, 2014


Gemfields ambassador and actress Mila Kunis is featured in her second campaign for the colored gemstone mining company. Shot by Peter Lindbergh, the photos feature Kunis in a natural state, sans makeup.

Editor's note: This story was updated to include information from Gemfields about their emerald auctions.

New York--Gemfields has a new advertising campaign and emerald-focused tome, and the colored gemstone miner celebrated both amid the snow Monday at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City.

Shot by portrait photographer Peter Lindbergh, the advertising campaign is the second for the London-based mining company, which mines emeralds and amethysts in Zambia along with rubies in Mozambique. The company has said it will hold its first ruby auction this year

As the first did, the ad campaign features actress and Gemfields ambassador Mila Kunis, who was in attendance at Monday night’s fête.

The mining company announced Kunis as its ambassador in early 2013, and the actress, who got her start on That 70s Show, voices Meg on Family Guy and won a Golden Globe for Black Swan, traveled to Gemfields’ emerald mine in Zambia later that year.

The theme of the new campaign, a follow-up to the first that featured Kunis in finished, polished gemstone jewelry, is “Beauty by nature.” It was shot in black and white, with the actress wearing no makeup and images of rough emeralds, rubies and amethysts superimposed on the edges.

A London-based mining company with operations in Africa, Gemfields has said publicly that its goal is to become, essentially, the De Beers of emeralds: create a stable market for the colored gemstone and enhance its image worldwide.

The miner, however, ran into a roadblock in 2013 when issues with the Zambian government resulted in Gemfields not holding any auctions of rough emeralds outside the country as planned. This caused the mining company to hold one less auction in 2013 and, ultimately, to see a drop in both sales and profits for the year.

Gemfields next emerald auction is scheduled for Feb. 21 to 25 in Lusaka, Zambia. It was not immediately clear if the mining company would be holding all its auctions in Zambia going forward. 

In addition to its new advertising campaign, Gemfields on Monday also marked the release of a hardcover coffee-table book, simply titled Emerald. It was authored by jewelry expert Joanna Hardy and writer Jonathan Self, with a preface by Vogue Italia Editor Franca Sozzani and introduction by British author Hettie Judah. 

On the book’s cover is a suite of emerald jewelry owned by Mary-Louise, Archduchess of Austria, the second wife of Napoleon I.

The 272-page book, which retails for $125 and is available wherever fine books are sold, takes readers through the history of the gemstone, and Hardy gave a quick recap of the same in a presentation given to a select group of journalists, and Kunis, prior to the party.

The gemologist took the class back to ancient Egypt, where the emeralds were mined in what later came to be called Cleopatra’s Mines--after the famous Queen of the Nile who loved her gemstones-- and then to Colombia.

The South American country is known for producing the finest emeralds in the world in terms of color and remains the world’s top producer of the gemstone today. According to Hardy’s presentation, 38 percent of emeralds come from Colombia, 29 percent from Zambia, where Gemfields mines, 23 percent from Brazil and 10 percent from other countries.

Hardy also gave a brief overview of the mineral composition of emeralds during her presentation.

A variety of beryl, emeralds are beryllium aluminum silicate, with chromium, vanadium and iron coming together in varying levels to give them their green hue. They rank 7.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, below corundum (rubies, sapphires, etc.) at 9, and the hardest substance on earth, diamond, which is 10.