Egg Sized Diamond Unearthed in Canada - The Largest Ever Found in North America
A 552-carat yellow diamond was recently unearthed at Diavik Diamond Mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories. The astonishing gemstone measures approximately 33.74 mm by 54.56 mm and was uncovered in the initial screening process at Diavik’s recovery plant. The diamond is almost three times the size of the next largest stone ever found in Canada.
Dominion Chief Executive Officer Shane Durgin said that the diamond is of gem quality, meaning its suitable for jewelry, but gave few additional details to help determine its value. Typically yellow stones sell at a discount to Type IIa top whites often found in the best African mines. Still, the highest quality fancy vivid yellow or fancy intense yellow stones can sell for a premium.
“We can label it fancy yellow, but beyond that, due to its rough nature and the abrasions received through the processing facility, that’s all we can comment on. It’s very hard to give a ballpark estimate. It all depends on, again, the cutting and the resulting stone it ends up.”
Dominion Chief Executive Officer Shane Durgin
According to the company, this find exceeds a previous record held by the “Diavik Foxfire,” a 18.7-carat diamond discovered at the same mine in 2015 by mining company Rio Tinto. Dominion owns 40% of the Diavik Diamond Mine.
The discovery is the seventh-biggest this century, according to Bloomberg calculations, and would be among the 30 largest stones ever unearthed. The biggest was the 3,106-carat Cullinan, found near Pretoria in South Africa in 1905. It was cut into several polished gems, the two largest of which - the Great Star of Africa and the Lesser Star of Africa - are set in the Crown Jewels of Britain.
There have been many big finds in recent years as better technology assists miners in first detecting, and then not breaking big stones that are susceptible to being smashed during the mining process. Among those are diamonds found by Lucara Diamond Corp. and Gem Diamonds Ltd. that fetched between $40 and $63 million. It will be interesting to see, as technologies continue to advance, what else might be unearthed in future!