Sierra Leone pastor finds one of world's biggest diamonds

  • Sierra Leone pastor finds one of world's biggest diamonds

Sierra Leone pastor finds one of world's biggest diamonds

The largest diamond to ever be discovered is "Sergio" which weighs 3167 carats.

The whopping 709 carat diamond is one of the 20 largest diamonds ever found, but the remarkable part of the story is what he did next.

The diamond will be sold in Sierra Leone with a "transparent" bidding process to the benefit of the community and country, the statement said.

A local chief from Kono handed the stone to President Ernest Bai Koroma on behalf of Emmanuel Momoh who made the discovery.

In a ceremony Wednesday, Koroma thanked the chief of Kono district, where the uncut gem was found, for "not smuggling the diamond out of the country".

According to the Mines Minister, the diamond was discovered by Pastor Emmanuel A. Momoh who is engaged in alluvial mining at Koyadu village in Tankoro Chiefdom.

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The highest bidder will receive the diamond, with the profits distributed between Momoh and the government (the amount each will receive has not been disclosed).

'Artisanal mining tends to produce smaller, lower quality diamonds because the diamonds suffer breakage and erosion'.

Sierra Leone's association with diamonds hasn't always been a positive one.

A single 25-carat portion is likely to sell between $2.8 million and $4.7 million, Zimnisky told AFP. This rock, found in South Africa in 1905, was eventually cut into several large gems, two of which appear in the British Crown Jewels.

Diamonds fuelled a decade-long civil war that ended in 2002 in which 50,000 people were killed.

The precious gem is now in Freetown's central bank vault awaiting valuation under the Kimberley Process, which certifies diamonds as being "conflict-free".

Rebels allowed traders to exploit diamond mines and ship the gems overseas via Liberia.

A 1,111-carat diamond was unearthed in a Botswana mine in 2015.