The largest diamond ever found in North America has been discovered by Dominion Diamond Mines and Rio Tinto Group in a mine in northern Canada.
The yellow gem of 552 carats was found in the Diavik mine in the Northwest Territories, and is almost three times larger than the next largest stone found in Canada.
While Diavik and the neighboring mine Ekati produce very high quality diamonds, they are not famous for the type of huge gems normally found in mines in southern Africa. Shane Durgin, CEO of Dominion said that the diamond has the quality of a gem , which means it is suitable for jewelry, but gave few additional details to determine its value.
The yellow stones are usually sold at a discount to the major type IIa diamonds that are often found in the best African mines. Even so, the bright yellow luxury stones of the highest quality or the intense yellow of luxury can be sold at a surcharge.
A Yellow Diamond
“We can label it as luxury yellow, but beyond that, because of its rough nature and the abrasions received at the processing facility, that’s all we can comment on,” Durgin said in an interview. “It is very difficult to give a rough estimate. Once again, everything depends on the cut and the final result of the stone. ”
The discovery is the seventh largest in this century , according to Bloomberg calculations, and would be among the 30 largest stones to be unearthed. The largest was the 3,106 carat Cullinan, found near Pretoria in South Africa in 1905. It was cut into several polished gems, the two largest are the Great Star of Africa and the Lesser Star of Africa that are embedded in the crown of Britain.
While the Diavik mine belongs to and is operated by Rio by 60 percent, Dominion bought the stone in an internal auction process from its partner.
Dominion said they will soon select someone to cut and polish the stone.
The finding comes at a good time for Dominion. Since billionaire Dennis Washington bought the company for $1.2 billion last year, his administration has changed hands a lot and at least five high-level executives have left. That includes executive director Patrick Evans, who left last week after just over a year at the helm.
Dominion must decide whether it will promote the expansion projects that would extend the life of the Ekati mine. The market has also been under pressure, especially for smaller and lower quality stones .
There is currently an oversupply of such diamonds, and the weakening of the Indian rupee has put pressure on manufacturers in the country where about 90 percent of the gems are cut and polished.
The main cutting centers have also been reduced by low margins and a fall in commercial financing.
Benjamin Diaz started working for Debate Report in 2017. Ben grew up in a small town in northern Ontario. He studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married his wife a year later. Benhas been a proud Torontonian for the past 10 years. He covers politics and the economy. Previously he wrote for CTV News and the Huffington Post Canada.