The most expensive diamond in the world was set when Petra Diamonds Limited announced that the 122.52 carat blue diamond recovered from the Cullinan mine in June this year was sold for USW27.6 million dollars recently. This is equivalent to $225.269 dollars per carat. The highest price on record however is the “Winston Blue”, a pear-shaped 13.22 carat stone and the largest flawless vivid blue diamond in the world, which was sold for US$23.8 million by Christie’s in May 2014, setting a world auction record of US$1.8 million per carat for a blue diamond. This sets apart blue diamonds as one of the most highly concentrated forms of wealth known to man, even more so thank the highly valued Pink Diamonds from Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine.
The CEO of Petra Diamonds Ltd stated, “We are pleased to have concluded this arrangement which records an excellent sales value for the rough stone, and also gives Petra exposure to the uplift in value post beneficiation. We look forward to providing the market with further information on the stone’s journey at the appropriate time in the future.”
Blue diamonds are one of nature’s rarest diamonds. In fact they are so rare that there are no official statistics on their recovery, however the Cullinan mine in South Africa is known as the world’s most important source.
Located at the foothills of the Magaliesberg mountain range, 37 kilometres north-east of Pretoria in South Africa, Cullinan is one of the world’s most famous diamond mines.
Other blue diamonds obtained by Petra from the Cullinan mine since its acquisition in 2008 include:
A 39.9 carat diamond sold for US$8.8 million (or US$220,551 per carat) in 2008.
A 26.6 carat diamond which yielded a fancy vivid blue and internally flawless 7.0 carat polished stone. Sold for US$9.49 million (or US$1.35 million per carat) at a Sotheby’s auction in 2009, at the time this was the highest price per carat for any gemstone sold at auction and the highest price for a fancy vivid blue diamond sold at auction. It was subsequently named the ‘Star of Josephine’ by its new owner.
A 25.5 carat diamond which sold for US$16.9 million (or US$663,144 per carat) in 2013.
A 29.6 carat diamond which sold for US$25.6 million (or US$862,780 per carat) in February 2014.
The Cullinan mine acquired its name with the discovery of the Cullinan diamond in 1905, the largest rough gem diamond ever found at 3,106 carats. This iconic stone was cut into the two most important diamonds which form part of the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London - the First Star of Africa, which is mounted at the top of the Sovereign’s Sceptre and which at 530 carats is the largest flawless cut diamond in the world, and the Second Star of Africa, a 317 carat polished diamond which forms the centrepiece of the Imperial State Crown.
Cullinan is renowned for being the world’s most important source of blue diamonds. It provided the collection of 11 rare blues displayed in 2000 at London’s Millennium Dome alongside the Millennium Star and which included the fancy vivid blue ‘Heart of Eternity’ (27 carats polished).