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122.52-carat blue diamond unearthed in S. Africa

By Michelle Graff

June 13, 2014


Petra Diamonds Ltd. CEO Johan Dippenaar holding the 122.52-carat piece of blue rough, the latest big blue stone to emerge from the company’s Cullinan mine in South Africa.

London--Friday the 13th wasn’t an unlucky day for Petra Diamonds Ltd.

On Friday, the company announced the recovery of another big blue rough diamond, this one a 122.52-carat stone found at the Cullinan mine in South Africa, which is considered one of the world’s top sources of blue diamonds. The mine has produced the largest rough gem diamond on record to date, the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond.

Petra did not make any definitive statements about the stone’s quality, stating only that it would require further analysis to assess its potential value and optimal route to market. Because of this, the mining company said it does not expect to sell the diamond before the close of its fiscal year on June 30.

Petra acquired the Cullinan mine in 2008. Since that time, it has produced four rough blue diamonds that were 25 carats or larger.

In 2008, the same year it purchased the mine, Petra recovered a 39.9-carat piece of blue rough which sold for $8.8 million, or $220,551 per carat.

The 7-carat fancy vivid blue diamond sold at Sotheby’s in 2009 for $9.49 million, or $1.35 million per carat, and named the “Star of Josephine” was cut from a 26.6-carat piece of rough recovered at Cullinan.

In addition, the mine produced a 25.5-carat stone that sold for $16.9 million, or $663,144 per carat, in 2013 and a 29.6-carat rough blue diamond that sold in February 2014 for $25.6 million, or $862,780 per carat.

Based in London, Petra is a publicly traded diamond mining company listed on the London Stock Exchange. In addition the Cullinan mine, the company has five other producing mines in South Africa: the Finsch, Koffiefontein, Kimberley Underground and Helam. In addition, Petra operates the Williamson mine in Tanzania and maintains an exploration program in Botswana.