A South African mining company said Tuesday that it had extracted an “exceptional” 232.08-carat white diamond from its Cullinan mine in South Africa, which has been the source of many large diamonds. Analysts have reportedly said that the diamond could fetch between $10 million and $16 million.
Petra Diamonds Limited (LON:PDL) announced the rare gem's find on its website, describing the white diamond as being "of exceptional size and clarity" and added that the diamond has no measurable nitrogen impurities. Company shares jumped as much as 6.5 percent in early Tuesday trading on the London Stock Exchange after the announcement was made, according to a report by Reuters.
The last time Petra Diamonds found a large diamond was in 2009 when it unearthed the 507-carat Cullinan Heritage diamond from the same mine in South Africa, which has produced many of the world's largest diamonds. While the latest find has not yet been valued, the Cullinan Heritage, whose clarity grade was reportedly assigned as “flawless,” sold for $35.3 million, the highest price on record for a rough diamond.
Petra Diamonds, which owns five producing mines in South Africa and one in Tanzania, said it expected to sell the diamond during the second quarter of the financial year, between October and December.
The Cullinan mine, which was previously owned by De Beers, produced in 1905 the world’s largest rough diamond ever found -- the 3,106-carat diamond, which was cut into two stones that are now part of Britain’s Crown Jewels in the Tower of London. The First Star of Africa, which is mounted at the top of the Sovereign's Sceptre, at 530 carats, is the largest flawless cut diamond in the world. The Second Star of Africa, a 317-carat polished diamond, forms the centerpiece of the Imperial State Crown.