29.6-carat rare blue diamond unearthed
A 29.6-CARAT blue diamond, one of the rarest and most coveted in the world with a possible price tag of tens of millions of dollars, has been discovered at a South African mine by Petra Diamonds.
The miner said the "exceptional" acorn-sized diamond, small enough to fit into the palm of a hand, was unearthed at the Cullinan mine near Pretoria.
The mine, owned by the firm since 2008, was also where the Cullinan Diamond was found in 1905 - described as the largest rough-gem diamond ever recovered. The 3,106-carat stone was cut up and two major pieces are part of the British crown jewels.
Blue diamonds seldom hit the market and have been coveted by royals and celebrities for centuries.
"Whenever you have an item as beautiful, rare and collectible as this diamond, it is difficult to say what a buyer may be prepared to pay for it," company spokesman Cathy Malins said of its latest big find.
"It could be in a class of its own," she added.
A 5.3-carat fancy deep-blue diamond last year sold for £6.2 million (S$13 million) at a London auction, setting a new world record for price per carat.