Petra Diamonds Limited, owners of the Cullinan mine in South Africa, one of the world’s most celebrated diamond mines, has just announced it has unearthed yet another exceptionally rare 122.52 carat blue diamond.
The Cullinan mine, the world’s most important source of rare blue diamonds, is located at the foothills of the Magaliesberg mountain range, 37 kilometres north-east of Pretoria and was acquired by Petra Diamonds in 2008.
A Company statement said this latest discovery will require further analysis in order to assess its potential value and once this is completed the company will be in a position to evaluate is optimal route to market.
The statement said: “The diamond will therefore not be sold before the end of the Company's current financial year (30 June 2014).”
Petra Diamonds is a leading independent diamond mining group and an increasingly important supplier of rough diamonds to the international market.
The Company has interests in six producing mines: five in South Africa comprising Finsch, Cullinan, Koffiefontein, Kimberley Underground and Helam, and one in Tanzania (Williamson). It also maintains an exploration programme in Botswana.
Petra Diamonds offers an exceptional growth profile, with a core objective to steadily increase annual production to five million carats by the financial year 2019. The Group has a major resource base in excess of 300 million carats.
It conducts all operations according to the highest ethical standards and will only operate in countries which are members of the Kimberley Process.
The Company is quoted with a premium listing on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange under the ticker 'PDL' and is a member of the FTSE 250.
The Cullinan mine has already earned its place in history 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 frequently yields diamonds larger than 10 carats. Furthermore, it has produced more than 750 stones weighing more than 100 carats, 130 stones weighing more than 200 carats, and around a quarter of all diamonds weighing more than 400 carats.
Discoveries from Cullinan include 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).
Blue diamonds are one of nature's most special treasures and the natural blue colour is derived from small amounts of the chemical element boron trapped in the crystal carbon structure during their formation.
Virtually every blue diamond described by the GIA Gem Trade Laboratory as "blue" is classified as a Type IIb diamond.