Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Sierra Leone 'peace diamond' sells for €5.4m

Sierra Leone 'peace diamond' sells for €5.4m

A huge so-called "peace diamond" sold by the government of Sierra Leone to discourage crime-tainted "blood diamonds" fetched US$6.5 million on Monday.

A Christian pastor found the stone, while the buyer has been named as Laurence Graff, a British billionaire jeweler.

The egg-sized, 709-carat diamond found by a Christian pastor was bought at auction in NY by Laurence Graff, a British billionaire and jeweller, according to the Rapaport Group, an global diamond trading network that handled the sale.

The gem was first auctioned in Freetown for US$7.07 million earlier this year, but the government rejected the offer.

"The Peace Diamond bought by Laurence Graff will change lives even though it's a shame the diamond hasn't sold for a wildly expensive price", the managing director of 77diamonds.com, Tobias Kormind, said. The government was expecting about $7 million.


In an interview with the BBC, the pastor defended the decision to handover the diamond to the government instead of selling it to middlemen.

"We lack a lot of things". The auction was managed by Rapaport Group, a network of diamond companies.

The group's chairman, Martin Rapaport, told Newsday that the sale could bring about a "sea change in the relationship between artisanal miners and the government" if the community is seen to benefit.

"Instead of being ripped off in some dark corners when they find their diamonds, that they will bring it and put it on the table in front of the government", he said in NY.

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