Sierra Leone sells its egg-sized 709-carat diamond for $6.5 million

Sierra Leone sells its egg-sized 709-carat diamond for $6.5 million

"100% of the value of this diamond, of the auction sale, is going to go to the government and the people of Sierra Leone".

The Sierra Leone government sold a diamond for $6.5 million at a Tuesday, Dec. 5 auction in a deal that is being touted as marking "a sea of change for the diamond trade".

Before the year closes, Graff Diamond's chairman, Laurence Graff, has added another significant stone to its portfolio. Rapaport says that the sale of this diamond will provide "lifesaving infrastructure" to the village that has no water, electricity, roads, health or education service.

The auction on Monday in NY followed several postponements of the event that saw the stone displayed in several European capitals.

The diamond is said to be the 14th-largest ever discovered, according to the Rapaport Group, which auctioned the stone in NY on behalf of Sierra Leone's government. In many cases, groups used slave labor to mine the stones.

A previous attempt to sell it in May did not go through as the Sierra Leone government rejected the highest bid of $7.8 million at an auction in the capital Freetown.

Ernest Bai Koroma. The president of Sierra Leone praised Momoh "for not smuggling the diamond out of the country".

"It will encourage all the diggers back home", said Chief Paul Ngaba Saquee, head of Sierra Leone's eastern Kono district where the diamond was found.

According to the statement, the Sierra Leone government lost a little more than $500,000 after declining a bid of $7.08 million back in May.