Blue diamond unearthed in South Africa among largest ever
122.5 carat stone retrieved from the Cullinan mine could achieve record price
The value of a 122.5 carat blue diamond retrieved from the Cullinan mine near Pretoria could exceed the world record figure of $35.3 million (€26 million) paid for a 507 carat white diamond, also recovered there. Pictured is a similar cut diamond weighing 10.48 carats sold at auction in 2008. Photograph: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
Miners in South Africa have unearthed a diamond thought to be one of the largest ever found of its variety.
The 122.5 carat blue diamond was retrieved from the Cullinan mine near Pretoria. The mine is owned by British-based company Petra Diamonds Ltd., and is the latest in an illustrious list of discoveries throughout its history.
The mine first shot to international attention in 1905 after it produced the storied 3,000 carat Cullinan Diamond, which was subsequently cut into two gems that are now held in the Crown Jewels collection in the Tower of London.
Although far from the largest diamond that has come from Cullinan, it is estimated that the value of this latest discovery could well outstrip the world record figure of $35.3 million (€26 million) paid for a 507 carat white diamond which was also recovered there.
It has been a lucrative year so far for mineowners Petra, after another 29.6 carat blue diamond found in Cullinan sold for $25 million (€18.5 million) in February. Its shares have risen 7 per cent since its latest major retrieval was announced, and company chief executive Johan Dippenaar believes it to be an extremely important find.
“This sale result affirms this stone as one of the most important blue diamonds ever recovered. An additional allure is the diamond’s heritage from the Cullinan mine in South Africa, which is well known as the source of many of the world’s most spectacular diamonds and is the world’s most important source of very rare blue diamonds,” he said.