507 Carat Diamond Could Fix Finances For Mining Company

Petra Diamonds strikes pay dirt

Image of the 530 carat Star of Africa from Wikimedia.

Image of the baseball-sized 530 carat Star of Africa from Wikimedia.

An independent diamond mining company near Pretoria, South Africa, has found a 507 carat diamond. The large stone was found in the Cullinan Mine last week. After a rough year in the diamond business, Financial Times reports this discovery could single-handedly improve the finances of Petra Diamonds.

Even though the collapse of diamond prices in the past year pushed Petra Diamonds to a pre-tax loss of $93.9 million, the 507 carat diamond could be one of the 20 largest known diamonds in the world. The gem is about the size of a chicken egg, and it could keep Petra Diamonds in business. Perhaps Petra won’t need a cash loan to get out of debt now.

Independent diamond mining companies

Petra Diamonds is one of many small, independent diamond producers that have popped up recently. Petra employed a strategy of buying up old, African diamond mines from De Beers.

Petra greatly increased its production because of this strategy. In the past year, Petra mined 1 million carats of diamonds. However, as production spiked, diamond prices collapsed. Also, reports Financial Times, “Much of the loss arose from a $75.3m impairment charge relating to the closure of exploration programs in Angola and Botswana.”

More about the big diamonds

The Recently discovered 507 carat diamond weighs 1bout 100 grams, which is roughly 3.5 ounces, less than a quarter of a pound. Reports say the diamond is of exceptional color and clarity. The 507 carat diamond is still being analyzed to determine its worth.

This 507 carat diamond was found in the same mine as the largest known diamond in the world, which is called the Cullinan Diamond. The Cullinan Diamond was 3,106 when found. In order to be finished, the Cullinan Diamond was split into several pieces. Now the largest piece of the Cullinan Diamond is part of the British Crown Jewels and is set in the Imperial Scepter. The piece, called the Star of Africa, is 530 carats and about the size of a baseball.

Petra’s best friends

Along with the 507 carat diamond, three other exceptionally large diamonds were found. One was 168 carats and the two other stones were 58.50 and 53.30 carats. No estimated value has been published yet, but most reports are saying it is a white diamond, which means it is at the tope of the clarity and color scale. That also means it’s at the tope of the pricing scale.

Petra earlier this fiscal years sold a 27-carat blue diamond for more than $9 milllion. No doubt we will see some astronomical figures for a 507 carat white diamond.

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