A rare blue diamond weighing 25.5 carats has been discovered in South Africa.
The stone was recovered by Petra Diamonds at its Cullinan mine, which has produced several large diamonds that were eventually sold at hefty prices.
“It’s very unusual for a diamond of this quality and size to come to market,” Petra spokeswoman Cathy Malins said.
A similar blue diamond, which weighed 26.6 carats, was discovered by Petra in May 2009. The diamond was cut into a near-perfect stone and sold for $9.5 million at a Sotheby’s auction. It was named the “Star of Josephine” by its owner, Hong Kong property tycoon Joseph Lau Luen-Hung.
“If this is anything to go by, a similar number may be expected to go straight to the bottom line,” said Cailey Barker, director of equity mining research at Numis Securities.
Tuesday, a rare pink diamond called the “Princie” was sold at auction for $39.3 million. At 36.45 carats, the Princie is one of the largest pink diamonds in the world. The last time the diamond was seen in public was in 1960 when Sotheby’s sold it as the “property of a gentleman.”
The current record for a pink diamond sale goes to the “Graff pink,” which weighed 24.78 carats and was sold in Geneva by Sotheby’s for $44 million.
However, the Princie, Graff, and Star of Josephine aren’t nearly the heaviest diamonds ever to be discovered. In September, a 158.2 carat diamond was discovered by the Russian mining company Alrosa. The stone was unearthed from factory No. 16 in the Yakutia republic. The diamond was estimated to sell for $1.5 million at auction.
But the title of heaviest diamond on record goes to the Cullinan stone, which weighed 621.35 grams or 3,106.75 carats. The stone was split into seven majors stones and 96 smaller stones. It is currently owned by Queen Elizabeth. The second heaviest uncut diamond is the 1,000 Nameless diamond, which was found in either Brazil or central Africa.
Petra’s shares rose by as much as 5 percent after the 25.5-carat diamond was found.