10 Dec 2015

Mwadui’s rare pink diamond fetches US $10 million

Pink diamonds are only found in handful of mines throughout the world and their rarity ensures that they are one of the most highly coveted of all the fancy colours. The Argyle Diamond Mine which produces 90% of the world’s pink supply is set to close in 2020-2022, a time when the rarity of these gems will catapult.

This week however it is a Tanzanian mine making the news. The Williamson mine at Mwadui unearthed an exceptional 23.16 carat pink diamond last month which has fetched an astronomical 10.05 million US dollars for the rough stone. Williamson, a subsidiary of South Africa’s Petra Diamonds, announced that the pink stone sold into partnership, where Petra will also retains 20 per cent interest in the sales proceeds.

The rare 23.16 carat rough diamond from Tanzania that fetched over US $10 million.

The rare 23.16 carat rough diamond from Tanzania that fetched over US $10 million.

Petra Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Johan Dippenaar said the sale result affirms that the market for high quality coloured diamonds remains robust. “Pinks of this size and quality are incredibly rare, but the Williamson mine is known to produce them from time to time. Given the exceptional nature of this pink stone, we are delighted to retain exposure to the uplift in the polished,” Mr Dippenaar said.

He added the stone bodes well for the future of the mine as Petra continues to ramp up production and optimise the processing plant. The diamond was bought by Golden Yellow Diamonds on behalf of M A Anavi Diamond Group, a leading diamond manufacturer and specialist in large and unique coloured diamonds.

Pink diamonds are only found in handful of mines throughout the world and their rarity ensures that they are one of the most highly coveted of all the fancy colours. The Argyle Diamond Mine which produces 90% of the world’s pink supply is set to close in 2020-2022, a time when the rarity of these gems will catapult.

The new stone is said to be of much better quality than the high-quality 16.4 carat pink diamond recovered at the mine in September 2014. The stone later sold for 2.2 million US dollars.

In almost 250 years of auction history, only three pure vivid pink diamonds of over 10 carats have appeared for sale, according to Christie’ Notable stones produced at the Williamson mine includes the 54.5 carats (10.90 g) pink diamond which was presented to then-Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip upon their wedding in 1947. Other notable stone was a 388 carats (77.6 g) diamond found in 1990.

The Williamson mine was once owned by its namesake Dr Williamson, a Canadian geologist. Later Williamson’s heirs sold the mine to De Beers and colonial Tanganyika government in 1958.

The Independent Tanzania nationalized mine and later called back De Beers to take over the open pit mine in 1994. De Beers sold its stake to Petra and owned by some 75 per cent ownership, 25 per cent by government of Tanzania.

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