Discovered in the small village of Koryardu in eastern Sierra Leone, the profits earned from the “peace diamond” sale will help fund the future for this developing community.
On December 4, 2017, the world’s largest diamond sold for $6.5 million to one of the world’s largest luxury jewelers, Laurence Graff. Though the final price tag is small when compared to other famous diamonds, which have recently sold, half of the proceeds will benefit this war torn area by funding jobs, providing clean water, electricity, schools, infrastructure, and medical facilities. One quarter will be paid out to the tem who discovered the stone with the remaining quarter devoted to the Sierra Leone government program called the Diamond Area Community Development Fund.
And while the diamond fetched what many are referring to as a disappointing sum, many are hopeful that the “Peace Diamond” will serve as an example of how to move forward in a country known for it’s conflict fueled blood diamonds.
While the people who discovered the diamond had the opportunity to smuggle the precious stone out of the country and sell it on the black market, their efforts to sell the stone through the proper channels is what promotes hope for change. Sierra Leone President, Ernest Koroma acknowledged this effort by thanking “the local chief and his people for not smuggling the diamond out of the country.”
Why did a diamond, which seemed hopeful to reap a higher payday fall flat?
The answer to this is multi-faceted. For one, the diamond market is not currently at the height, at least according to the managing director at 77Diamonds.com, Tobias Kormind.
Additionally, though the stone is 14th largest diamond ever discovered, the cut and clarity of the smaller stones, which will result from the peace diamond, have still yet to be determined. Larger rough stones do not always make for larger cut and polished stones and if those stones do not represent a high quality diamond, then they do not translate into a higher value.
Though no one from the discovering team knew what the outcome would be when turning over the peace diamond, their efforts will help their country and small village in ways many did not think possible for this region.
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