Freetown, Jan 28 (IANS) A high quality 125-carat diamond was discovered in the mining district of Kono in eastern Sierra Leone and exported, according to a press release from the National Minerals Agency (NMA), the west African country’s minerals regulating agency.
The diamond was found by a miner at Masabendu village in Nimiyama chiefdom in the Kono district in November 2013 and was sold at $818,000, Xinhua reported citing the NMA statement issued this weekend.
The diamond has now been exported after a royalty of $122,713 dollars paid to the government.
Since an export tariff of 15 percent was imposed on special stones (diamonds with a value of $500,000 or above) in 2009, the gem was the largest diamond to be exported through official channels.
The gem is “the largest single diamond found in Sierra Leone in 2013” and “one of the finest and most valuable reported in the country in recent times”, the NMA statement said.
“What makes the diamond exceptional is the fact that it is very rare for a diamond above 100 carats to maintain its original shape and to be without any crack or inclusions or impurities as was the case of this rare gem,” said in statement.
The owner, whose name was not disclosed, received a “fair (but undisclosed) price for his find”, it added.
The statement also disclosed that a 23.56-carat diamond was discovered in Gbense chiefdom in the Kono district and a 13-carat diamond was found in Konta village in the Tonkolili district in December 2013. Both “are in safe custody awaiting valuation and export”.