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500-Carat Diamond Found In South Africa
Posted September 30th, 2009 No Comments
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diamondThe rough 507 carat white stone was unearthed at the historic Cullinan mine – where the famous Cullinan diamond was discovered in 1905. A spokesman for the mining firm Petra Diamond said the gemstone found last week was among the world’s 20 largest diamonds ever discovered.

He added: “Initial examinations indicate that it is of exceptional colour and clarity, and most likely to be a Type I diamond.

“At 507 carats (just over 100 grams) the diamond, which has yet to be named, is considered to be among the top 20 largest high quality rough diamonds ever found worldwide and ranks alongside other illustrious diamonds recovered at the celebrated Cullinan mine.“Further details, including colour grading and clarity, will be released once the diamond has undergone appropriate analysis.” The stone was found alongside three other valuable diamonds, with miners also unearthing a gemstone of 168.00 carats and two other stones of 58.50 and 53.30 carats. Petra confirmed the rocks were discovered during digging at the huge Cullinan mine, around 25 miles outside Pretoria in South Africa’s mineral-rich Gauteng province.

The original 3,106 carat Cullinan diamond became the largest rough diamond ever discovered when it was found on January 26 1905 by miner Frederick Wells. Once polished, the stone was presented to King Edward VII and now forms part of the British crown jewels. Experts have put its value in excess of $320 million. It was only overtaken as the world’s biggest polished diamond in 1985 with the discovery of the Golden Jubilee diamond, also at the Cullinan mine.

That stone was smaller than the original on discovery but had a larger polished weight of 545 carats. The Cullinan mine has also produced several of the world’s other largest diamonds, including the famous Centenary diamond, at 599 carats rough. Petra Diamond’s boss, Johan Dippenaar, said the discovery ranked alongside some of the mine’s other historic finds.

He said: “The Cullinan mine has again given the world a spectacularly beautiful and important diamond. “Initial indications are that it is of exceptional colour and clarity, which suggest extraordinary potential for its polished yield. “We now eagerly await the findings of the expert analysis.” The Cullinan mine was for decades owned by famous South African mining giant De Beers. As the excavation work moved deeper underground the site was deemed likely to become less profitable.

In 2007 De Beers announced it had sold the property to Petra Diamond, one of the world’s largest mining firms. Last May a rare blue diamond discovered at Cullinan was sold at auction in Hong Kong for a world record $10.7million. The flawless 7 carat gem was smaller than a penny piece.

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