Sierra Leone announced last week that it has selected the Rapaport Group to market the sale of the Peace Diamond. The 709-carat gem is the diamond is the third largest diamond ever found in Sierra Leone and the 14th largest diamond ever mined worldwide.
The Peace Diamond is special because it is a development diamond, meaning over 50% of its sales value will directly benefit the community of Koryardu, where the diamond was discovered, and the people of Sierra Leone.
The sale, scheduled to take place on Dec. 4 in New York is expected to bring significant economic benefit to the region, where many people live in extreme poverty.
The Rapaport Group said that prior to the auction, the Peace Diamond will tour Israel, Belgium and New York, where prospective buyers are invited to see the gem in person.
“I thank the local chief and his people for not smuggling the diamond out of the country, and the owners should get what is due to them and it should also benefit the country as a whole,” Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma said.
“The government remains committed to ensuring a transparent and competitive auction process that will ensure fair market value for Sierra Leone’s diamonds. We call on the worldwide diamond industry to bid generously for the Peace Diamond as it will bring vital infrastructure and benefit to thousands of Sierra Leone’s artisanal diggers.”
Still, it is unknown at this time what the Peace Diamond’s value is? The monetary value of the 709-carat diamond has yet to be finalized, reportedly because it is too large to fit inside the high-definition scanning equipment used to evaluate diamonds. The diamond’s exact color and clarity are unknown, although it appears to be mostly yellow. It is known, however, that Sierra Leone’s government has already received an offer of $7.777 million, which it has refused