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By Cheryl Kahla

Content Strategist

PICS: ‘Exceptional’ 342-carat white diamond found at Cullinan

The diamond will likely be sold at an upcoming tender in September.

A Type IIa white diamond with an exceptionally high carat count of 342.92 was found at the Cullinan mine just two weeks after a rare blue gem was sold for nearly R600 million.

“Petra Diamonds Limited is pleased to announce that it has recovered a 342.92 carat Type IIa white gem […] at the Cullinan mine in South Africa.”

‘Exceptional’ white diamond

The British-based company says the gem is “of exceptional quality in terms of both its colour and clarity”. Carat-wise, it is more than eight times bigger than the blue diamond.

Petra says the Type IIa “is likely to be sold via the Company’s upcoming tender during September 2021”.

Famous Cullinan mine diamonds

Many of the world’s most famous gemstones have been discovered at the renowned Cullinan Mine situated at the foothills of the Magaliesberg mountain range, northeast of Pretoria.

The most famous has to be the Cullinan Diamond found in 1905. At 3,106 carats, it is the largest rough diamond ever found, and was subsequently cut into the two most important parts:

  • The 530-carat Crown Jewels, The Star of Africa. It is the largest flawless cut diamond in the world, which is mounted at the top of the Sovereign’s Sceptre
  • The Second Star of Africa, a 317-carat polished diamond which forms the centrepiece of the Imperial State Crown.
crown jewels star of africa diamond cullinan
The Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross. Photo: Royal Collector’s Trust

Other notable jewels include the 353-carat rough Premier Rose, the 426-carat rough Niarchos, the 599-carat rough De Beers Centenary, the 755-carat rough Golden Jubilee, and the 69-carat polished Taylor-Burton.

The 507-carat rough white Cullinan Heritage sold for R515 million 2010, while the Letlapa Tala Collection of five blue diamonds, weighing 85.6 carats in total, sold as a suite of stones for R584 million in November 2020.

A 299.3-carat Type IIa white gem recovered in January 2021 sold for R178 million in March. while a 39.34-carat Type IIb blue gem sold for R587 million in July – the highest price Petra has received for a single stone.

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