By Michelle Graff
Petra Diamonds Ltd. said this 29.6-carat blue diamond it recently unearthed is of “extraordinary” saturation, tone and clarity.
London--Mining company Petra Diamonds Ltd. announced Tuesday that it has recovered a 29.6-carat rough blue diamond from the famed Cullinan mine in South Africa.

Petra described the stone as “exceptional,” noting that it is an outstanding vivid blue with extraordinary saturation, tone and clarity.

The mining company went so far as to say the stone is one of the most exceptional diamonds recovered at Cullinan during its operation of the mine.

Petra acquired the Cullinan mine in July 2008. In that time, it has recovered four large blue diamonds, with three out of four selling for $8 million-plus.

The highest-grossing of these stones was a 25.5-carat blue that sold for $16.9 million last year.

The Cullinan also yielded a 26.6-carat piece of blue rough that was polished into a fancy vivid blue internally flawless 7-carat diamond. Sold for $9.5 million, or $1.35 million per carat, at Sotheby’s in 2009, the stone set two new world auction records at the time of its sale. Its owner named it the “Star of Josephine.”

London-based Petra Diamonds has interest in a total of six producing mines, five in South Africa--the Finsch, Koffiefontein, Kimberley Underground and Helam, in addition to the Cullinan--and one in Tanzania, the Williamson mine.

The company also has an exploration program in Botswana.

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