The 'Emeralds for Elephants' exhibition drew to an exciting close on 23rd June when the most valuable elephant in the London Elephant Parade was auctioned to raise funds for the World Land Trust and Wildlife Trust of India. The Emerald Queen and her emerald head-dress featuring a Gemfields 678ct emerald had centre stage. Models wearing the emerald jewellery mingled with guests, and the jewellery was auctioned alongside the elephant. The Sotheby’s auctioneer was inundated with bids for the collection of bespoke emerald pieces, designed by eight leading jewellery designers, using Gemfields’s ethically-sourced emeralds which had been donated for this purpose. The Emerald Queen herself, designed by Sabine Roemer again using Gemfields Zambian emeralds, sold for £150,000. The night also celebrated the first auction of the fibreglass elephants, of which 258 have been parading all around London. The elephants were then assembled at the Royal Hospital Chelsea where visitors were able to enjoy seeing ‘the herd’ prior to being auctioned in July. Funds raised will go to WLT’s project partners, the Wildlife Trust of India, to save urgent elephant corridors throughout the country.
Numerous VIPs and celebrities from the UK and India were in attendance at this glamorous auction. These included Indian cricket star Yuvraj Singh, Mark Shand, Jack Penate, Andrea and Alice Dellal and the owners of Selfridges, Hılary and Galen Weston. In his introductory speech, Yuvraj Singh said: "It's great to be here this evening and have the opportunity to support the Asian Elephants, who are the real jewels of India. Thank you to the World Land Trust and their partners the Wildlife Trust of India for all it's work and to all the designers and Gemfields for making this project possible. My own Foundation YSF [Yuvraj Singh Foundation] believes it is our responsibility to protect the environment for future generations, and we are making a donation so please dig deep into your pockets and make this a successful evening for the elephants of India." Online Press Coverage: