|The ‘Lulo Rose’, a 170-carat pink diamond discovered at the Lulo mine in Angola's diamond-rich northeast region. Photograph: Lucapa Diamond Company Limited/AFP/Getty Images|
A big pink diamond of 170 carats has been discovered in Angola and is claimed to be the largest such gemstone found in 300 years.
Called the “Lulo Rose,” the diamond was found at the Lulo alluvial diamond mine in the diamond-rich Lunda Norte region of Angola, the mine’s owner, the Lucapa Diamond Company, said on Wednesday on its website.
“Only one in 10,000 diamonds is coloured pink. So you’re certainly looking at a very rare article when you find a very large pink diamond,” Lucapa’s chief executive, Stephen Wetherall, said.
The pink gemstone is expected to fetch a high price when auctioned but Wetherall said he did not know what kind of premium would be paid because of its colour.
Since 2015, the Lulo mining project has uncovered 27 diamonds weighing more than 100 carats, including the largest diamond ever found in Angola: the 404-carat "4th February Stone," which sold for US$16 million in 2016.
The Lulo Rose, the fifth-largest diamond found at Lulo, is expected to sell for an even higher price.
Pink diamonds are relatively rare, and scientists still aren't certain about the phenomenon that gives these stones their rosy hue.
In 1999, miners in South Africa uncovered a rough 132-carat pink diamond that was later named The Pink Star. For nearly two years, experts slowly cut and ground the rock into a 59-carat jewel, and in 2013, The Pink Star sold for roughly US$83 million at auction, becoming the single most expensive gemstone ever sold.
The Lulo Rose also will have to be cut down from its rough form, which could result in its weight dropping by up to half, according to the statement. But even if the Lulu Rose is reduced to 85 carats, the vivid pink stone looks primed to set a new sales record of its own.
Humans have been collecting and trading diamonds since 2500 BCE, Live Science previously reported. For millennia, their dazzling appearance and extreme rarity made them a sought-after status symbol that only the world's wealthiest could afford.
Diamonds form deep underground – typically 100 miles (160 kilometers) or more beneath Earth's surface – when carbon deposits are exposed to the extreme heat and temperatures of the inner Earth. Some diamonds may burst to the surface during volcanic eruptions, but today most are found through mining efforts around the world.
Approximately 90 million carats of rough diamonds are mined for jewelry every year, generating more than US$300 billion in revenue worldwide; however, conditions for mining diamonds are often hazardous, and the industry has been associated with the displacement of Indigenous peoples, worker exploitation, pollution and human rights abuses, according to a report released in 2018 by the nonprofit Human Rights Watch.
The above post is reprinted from Live Science.