SIERRA LEONE’S 709-CARAT DIAMOND TO “BENEFIT THE POOR”
The 709.48-carat diamond found in March by a pastor in Sierra Leone’s eastern Kono region will be auctioned “to fund development projects in the impoverished community where it was found”, according to Mining Weekly. Renamed the “Peace Diamond”, the huge stone will be auctioned by the Rapaport Group.
The diamond was discovered by Pastor Emmanuel A. Momoh “who is engaged in alluvial mining at Koyadu village in Tankoro Chiefdom”. It was presented to President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma on March 15 by a local chief. A few days after it was found, the government of Sierra Leone rejected the highest bid for it. According to Gem Konnect, the highest bid stood at $7.8 million as five bids – starting at $2 million – were handed in sealed envelopes. Sahr Wonday, chief auctioneer and head of the National Minerals Agency, said: “We’ve decided not to sell the diamond today because the highest bid price … does not match the government reserve price”.