LUANDA – A 404-carat diamond measuring more than seven centimetres in length and valued at more than US$14.3 million (S$20 million) has been unearthed in Angola, an Australian mining company has announced.
The Lucapa diamond company said in a statement on Monday that the diamond was the largest ever found in Angola and was believed to be the 27th largest in the world.
“The 404.2 carat diamond was recovered from mining block 8 at Lulo, which has already produced more than 60 large special diamonds since mining commenced in this area in August 2015,” the company said.
Lulo, in northeast Angola, is part of Catoca, the world’s fourth biggest diamond mine.
Endiama, Angola’s national diamond company, said it was “a significant day for our country, our diamond industry and for the Lulo diamond project.” A 1,111 carat diamond was discovered at a mine in Botswana last year in the biggest find for more than a century.
That gem is only second in size to the Cullinan diamond which was unearthed in South Africa in 1905.
It is the largest found at the Lulo mine in Angola, where the project commenced in August 2015. The Lulo Diamond Project explores a 1,148 square-mile plot of land in central Angola and the area has so far produced more than 60 “large special diamonds,” the company said.
It is the 27th largest recorded diamond in the world, the first being a 3,106 carat gem, called the “Cullinan.” It weighed in at 1.3 pounds and was discovered in South Africa in 1905. That stone was cut to adorn the royal scepter, one of Britain’s crown jewels, and is on display at the Tower of London. The second largest weighed 1,111 carats and was found in November 2014 in Botswana.