Indian Demonetization Delays Gemfields Auction

rough emerald
Gemfields has moved its rough emerald auction originally slated for this month to February to allow its clients in India time to adjust after the country’s demonetization initiative.

ondon–Gemfields has announced that its auction of predominantly higher quality emeralds from the Kagem mine in Zambia has been postponed until February due to India’s recent demonetization policy.

The gemstone miner and marketer originally was slated to hold the sale this month.

In November, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi banned 500 and 1,000 rupee notes in an effort to tackle corruption and terrorism in the country by cracking down on “black money”–cash holdings that haven’t been accounted for or taxed–and catching counterfeit bills.

The two banned bills account for the vast majority of all currency in circulation, The New York Times reported, adding that the government is giving India’s citizens until the end of the year to change their 500 and 1,000 rupee notes in for other bills.

Gemfields CEO Ian Harebottle said that the majority of those who buy the company’s rough emeralds are from India.

“As has been widely covered in the international media, the new demonetization program will require an adjustment period to allow industries and stakeholders to adapt to the new policies,” he said.

Gemfields’ auction of predominantly mixed quality rubies from the Montepuez mine in Mozambique will proceed in Singapore in December as planned because it has a different customer base, drawing buyers from Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and China.

The mining company added that there has been no change to its revenue guidance for the 2016 financial year.

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