Emeralds, the gem of an initiative

Priya Sheth Mumbai | Updated on July 20, 2011

Protecting pachyderms: Emeralds for Elephants jewellery show-cased in Mumbai. The pieces, with elephant motifs, will be auctioned in India in October and the funds will be used for developing elephant corridors in the country. — Photo: Shashi Ashiwal   -  Business Line

‘Green stones' to protect elephants in their ‘green' habitats is the message The World Land Trust and Gemfields, an “ethical coloured gem-stone mining company” wants to convey through the “Emeralds for Elephants” initiative.

To conserve the 24,000 remaining Asian elephants, the ‘Emeralds for Elephants' initiative plans to raise money to fund the development of `elephant corridors' in India. Each of these corridors could cost about £ 10 million. And the initiative plans to raise as much money as possible to save the “national heritage animal” from going extinct.

600 national parks

“There are 600 national parks in India and 24,000 remaining elephants. There have been so many cases of elephant deaths due to poisoning or accidents. These wildlife corridors should be built to reduce the ongoing human-elephant conflict,” said Vivek Menon, CEO, Wildlife Trust of India.

The World Land Trust and Gemfields, along with Jaguar Land Rover and the Indian arm of Gemological Institute of America have collaborated with 10 jewellery designers of India to create an exclusive collection of emerald jewellery. This collection of jewellery will be auctioned by Sotheby's on October 14, at the Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai. And a percentage of profits from each jewel will go towards the World Land Trust's “Indian Elephant Corridor” project, representatives at the event said, without divulging details.

The ambience of the launch-event on Wednesday, oozed of elegance not only reflected by the sanctity of the cause, but also by the unique Zambian emerald-studded designer jewellery that were displayed. Each piece symbolised the elephant in one way or the other.

The most-striking piece of this collection was a Ganesha sculpture, studded with a 638 carat Gemfields Zambian emerald, created by artist Arzan Khambatta.

The funds will be directed towards land purchase for the elephant corridors to allow the animal to follow traditional migration routes. The first “Emeralds for Elephants” project was showcased in London last year.

The jewellers displayed this year are: Abaran Jewellers (Bangalore), Anmol Jewellers (Mumbai), Gem Palace (Jaipur), Khanna Jewellers (New Delhi), Meena Jewellers (Hyderabad), Narayan Jewellers (Baroda), Nirav Modi (Mumbai), Sawansukha Jewellers (Kolkata), Talwarsons Jewellers (Chandigarh) and Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers (Chennai).

Published on July 20, 2011

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