By Erika Winters
Petra Diamonds has announced the recovery of a 29.6-carat blue diamond at the renowned Cullinan mine in South Africa. The rough diamond, described as exceptional by Petra, follows significant blue-diamond finds in recent years, including a 25.5-carat blue diamond, which sold for $16.9 million in 2013.
From Petra Diamonds:
The stone is an outstanding vivid blue with extraordinary saturation, tone and clarity, and has the potential to yield a polished stone of great value and importance.
Blue diamonds are among the rarest and most highly coveted of all diamonds and the Cullinan mine is the most important source of blues in the world. This stone is one of the most exceptional stones recovered at Cullinan during Petra’s operation of the mine.
Petra has produced the following blue diamonds since acquiring the Cullinan mine in 2008:
• a 39.9-carat diamond which sold for $8.8 million in 2008
• a 26.6 carat diamond which yielded a fancy vivid blue and internally flawless 7.0 carat polished stone. It sold for $9.49 million (or $1.35 million per carat) at a Sotheby’s auction in 2009. At the time this was the highest price per carat for any gemstone sold at auction and the highest price for a fancy vivid blue diamond sold at auction. It was subsequently named the “Star of Josephine” by its new owner.
• a 4.8 carat diamond which sold for $1.45 million in 2012
• a 25.5 carat diamond which sold for $16.9 million in 2013
The Cullinan mine is known for producing both blue diamonds and exceptionally large diamonds, including the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found, the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond. Other famous diamonds found at the Cullinan include the 273.85-carat De Beers Centenary, which was cut from a 599-carat rough diamond, and the 69.42-carat Taylor-Burton diamond, a gift from Richard Burton to Elizabeth Taylor in 1969.
Images courtesy of Petra Diamonds
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