Emmanuel Momoh, a Christian pastor working in the Kono region of Sierra Leone, found a rock that has been valued at approximately 50 million dollars. The rock is now in the possession of the government, who plans to sell it ostensibly with the money going to make life better for it’s citizens.
What makes the rock so valuable? It’s a solid diamond weighing 706 carats and is between the 10th and the 15th largest diamond ever found. Even more rare is that it was found in a small mine. Smaller mines cannot afford the machinery larger mines use and as a result, many diamonds get damaged or broken, so finding such an intact large diamond is completely unusual.
The diamond will be shipped out of the country for evaluation and sale. It was determined that a thorough examination into the color and flaws would produce the higher price on the open market.
Diamond expert Paul Zimnisky said it could be ‘between the 10th and 15th largest gem-diamonds ever recovered’ and such a find is very rare in a small mine.
He said: ‘Most recent exceptional diamond discoveries have been made by large commercial miners that mine very large volumes of kimberlite ore and process it with advanced equipment.
‘Artisanal mining tends to produce smaller, lower quality diamonds because the diamonds suffer breakage and erosion.’
Zimnisky said the stone would likely be sold outside Sierra Leone, despite the government’s assertion, for better access to buyers.
A 1,111-carat diamond was discovered at a mine in Botswana in 2015, the biggest find for more than a century.
That gem is second in size only to the Cullinan diamond which was unearthed in South Africa in 1905, at 3,106 carats uncut, according to the Cape Town Diamond Museum.
The Cullinan was cut into several gems, including two set into the sceptre and crown of the British Crown Jewels.