A few days ago, miners at the Lulo mine in Angola unearthed a huge pure pink diamond of approximately 170 carats. The owner of the mine, the Lucapa Diamond Company from Australia, claims it may be the largest pink diamond to have been discovered in 300 years.
Named the ‘Lulo Rose’ after the mine it was found in, the 170-carat, 34-gram diamond is only slightly smaller than the world’s largest pink diamond, the Daria-i-Noor, which is 182 carats and was discovered in Iran.
The most expensive gemstone ever
It is highly probable that the Lulo Rose will become the priciest gemstone ever sold. Pink diamonds are rare – just one in every 10,000 diamonds is pink – and humans highly prize rarity.
In addition, the Lulo Rose is larger than the last most expensive gemstone to be sold in the world: the 132-carat Pink Star from South Africa, which is also a pink diamond.
The Pink Star sold for around $83 million at auction. (The Daria-i-Noor would have fetched a higher price, but as it is part of the Iranian National Jewels it has never been sold.)
As it is still in its rough form, the Lulo Rose will lose some weight once it is cut and refined – in fact, the jewel could end up being half of its current weight, cut down to 85 carats. However, experts say it will still sell for a record-breaking price. The Pink Star was also cut down from its original form, dropping down to just 59 carats, and still ended up selling for more than any other gemstone ever had. This means the Lulo Rose will likely sell for even more.
The Lulo Rose is the fifth-largest of all the diamonds discovered in the Lulo mining project, which has 400 employees. A high-value mine, Lulo has enjoyed a bounty of large diamonds, including the two largest clear diamonds ever uncovered in Angola. The biggest, the ‘4th February Stone’, is a 404-carat behemoth that fetched a price of $16 million in 2016.
A total of 27 diamonds above 100 carats have been discovered in the mine, which is situated in northeastern Angola and is an alluvial mine – meaning diamonds are mined from a riverbed.
LuCaPa Searching deeper
Stephen Wetherall, the chief executive of Lucapa, says that the mining firm has been scouting Lulo mine for an even greater prospect: kimberlite pipes, which are underground deposits and the primary source of diamonds in the mine.
The company has been encouraged by the incredible diamonds that have already been discovered in its search for kimberlite pipes. Wetherall states, “We’re looking for the kimberlite pipes that brought these diamonds to the surface,” Wetherall said, “When you find these high-value large diamonds … it certainly elevates the excitement, from our perspective, in our hunt for the primary source.”
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