A massive 404-carat diamond has been discovered by an Australian mining company in southern Africa. The internally flawless diamond is one of the largest ever found. Preliminarily, gemologists have pegged the stone as 27th largest ever discovered so far.
A small Australian-listed mining company managed to unearth one of the most stunningly large diamonds. The 404 carat stone was discovered in Angola diamond mine, which the company operates under a joint project. The company confirmed that the diamond is believed to be the 27th largest ever discovered.
The as-yet-unnamed diamond measures about seven centimeters across, which is roughly the length of any standard issue credit card. At exactly 404.2 carat, the diamond is preliminarily graded as Type IIa D-Color. Such diamonds usually form under extremely high pressure, which exceeds what it takes to make other type of diamonds. Moreover, such diamonds are extensively rare, since they take longer time periods to form. The clear and flawless diamond easily dwarfs another large diamond that was discovered in the same region. The “Angolan Star,” discovered in 2007, was 217 carats, which needless to say is almost half the size of the one discovered recently, reported the Comment.
The discovery of the diamond is credited to Lucapa Diamond Company, a relatively small player in the global diamond market. Miners from the Australian company unearthed the virtually flawless white diamond in a remote part of Lunda Norte province in northeastern Angola, reported the Mirror.
The current market rate for diamonds is roughly $120 per carat. However, given the size, color, quality, and rarity of the stone, the average price the company has been offered so far for its diamonds is $1,375 per carat. The diamond could be valued anywhere between $14 million and $20 million. However, the company is overwhelmed by the find and Lucapa Chairman, Miles Kennedy shared the exact valuation could vary.
“It’s the biggest diamond ever recorded from the country of Angola and it’s the biggest diamond ever recovered by an Australian diamond miner. The results today are a wonderful vindication of eight years of pretty hard work. We’re not used to valuing 400-carat diamonds, but if we look at other diamonds slightly less weight than this, you’re looking in the order of $20 million. So, we have hit a number of firsts finding this diamond.”
The mine in Angola is operated under a joint venture between Lucapa, private Angolan company Rosas e Pétalas and Angola’s national diamond company, Endiama. The joint venture is called Lulo Diamond Project and the mine (alluvial Mining Block 8 at Lulo) had begun operations just over a year ago in August, 2015, reported Australian News. Having stumbled upon two such huge stones in the same Angolan region is turning out to be insanely beneficial for the company. But when the team had begun prospecting, the region wasn’t as lucrative as it appears today, continued Kennedy.
“When we first looked at the property, 3,000 square kilometers of untouched ground, 700 kilometres inland from the coast, you are talking about a very, very remote area.”
Lucapa, a relatively tiny diamond exploration company, is traded on Australia’s ASX stock exchange under the symbol LOM. Once the news spread about the 404 carat diamond, Lucapa’s shares jumped 30 percent, reported Solo News.
The world’s largest diamond is the Cullinan. The 3,106 carat gem weighed a massive 1.3 pounds and was discovered in South Africa in 1905. The diamond was cut and now adorns the royal scepter, one of Britain’s crown jewels. Among other priceless jewels is the Kohinoor diamond, as well. The jewels sit in the Tower of London. One of the largest recently discovered diamonds, the “Star of Africa II,” weighed 1,111 carats and was found in November, 2014.
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