It was found where no diamonds are usually found, it was almost “crushed to death”, and now – it’s touring the world and expected to rake in millions of dollars. The story of “Foxfire”, the largest diamond ever unearthed in North America, is as fascinating as the stone itself.
According to Bloomberg, who dedicated a large piece to the diamond, Foxfire was found in an unlikely place: beneath the lake floor, where no such diamonds are supposed to survive, in the Diavik mine – 210 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle in Canada’s Northwest Territories. It’s a cold, hard place, surrounded by rocks and many lakes. The mine, which began operation in 2003, has produced 90 million carats to date – none of them bigger than 6 carats, making the 187.7-carat find as unexpected as it was welcome. The diamond was actually saved by its long, elongated shape, which allowed it to escape sideways through a filtering screen.
Alan Davies, CEO of diamonds and minerals for Rio Tinto, calls the find “a miracle”, no less, telling Bloomberg that “It’s a rare find, a really rare find.” The stone has a slight yellow tinge, which might lower its value, but Rio Tinto is banking on the stone’s unusual story, as well as it being the largest ever to be found in North America.
David Shara, CEO of Optimum Diamonds, told Bloomberg that the Foxfire is so unusual, that it might be kept unpolished and sold as rough, and attract collectors by the sheer rarity of its story.
The Foxfire is already touring the world: it was showcased in New York, Kensington Palace in London, and will travel next to the diamond capitals of Antwerp and Tel Aviv. Bids for the diamond will be unsealed on June 1.