The 170-carat “Lulo Rose” was found at the Lulo Diamond Mine, which has already produced the two largest diamonds ever found in Angola.
A rare 170-carat pink diamond recently discovered in Angola is being hailed as the largest such gem found in 300 years.
The so-called “Lulo Rose” was found at the Lulo alluvial diamond mine in the Lula Norte region of Angola, the mine’s owner, Lucapa Diamond Company, announced on its website on Wednesday.
“Only one in 10,000 diamonds is colored pink. So you’re certainly looking at a very rare item when you find a very large pink diamond,” Lucapa CEO Stephen Wetherall told The Associated Press.
The pink gem is expected to fetch a high value at auction, but Wetherall said he doesn’t know what kind of premium is being paid based on its color.
Lulo is an alluvial mine, meaning the rocks are extracted from a river bed. Lucapa is looking for the underground deposits, known as kimberlite pipes, that would be the main source of the diamonds, said Wetherall of the company’s Australia headquarters.
“We’re looking for the kimberlite tubes that brought these diamonds to the surface,” Wetherall said. “When you find these high quality large diamonds…we think it certainly adds excitement to our search for the primary source.”
He said about 400 people are employed at the mine, which has already produced the two largest diamonds ever found in Angola, including a 404-carat clear diamond.
The pink gem is the fifth largest diamond found at the mine, where 27 diamonds of 100 carats or more were found, according to Lucapa.
The pink diamond is being sold by Angola’s state diamond marketing company, Sodiam, in an international tender.
Angola’s mines make it one of the top 10 diamond producers in the world.
“This record and spectacular pink diamond recovered from Lulo continues to showcase Angola as a major player on the world diamond mining stage and demonstrates the potential and rewards for engagement and investment in our growing diamond mining industry,” Diamantino Azevedo, Angola’s Minister of Mineral Resources, Petroleum and gas, the Lucapa website said.
The pink diamond is impressive, but many clear diamonds are larger than 1,000 carats.
Found in South Africa in 1905, the Cullinan diamond weighs 3,106 carats and sits on the scepter of the British sovereign.