Petra achieves record price for rough diamond

Petra's John Dippenaar with the previously sold Cullinan Heritage Diamond.

Chow Tai Fook buys 507ct stone for £23.1m in South African auction.

Petra Diamonds has broken the record for the world’s highest-selling rough diamond, auctioning off a 507ct stone for US$35.3m (£23.1m).

The Cullinan Heritage diamond, which was sold at auction in South Africa last week, is one of the largest rough diamonds ever found and was discovered at the Cullinan mine in South Africa. The price achieved for The Cullinan Heritage reflects the incredible rarity of the diamond, which combines its remarkable size with exceptional colour and clarity, and at 507.5cts it is the 19th largest diamond ever discovered.

The stone was bought by Hong Kong jeweller Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Company. The company has not announced what it plans to do with the diamond.

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Petra chief executive John Dippenaar said: “It is fitting that The Cullinan Heritage should achieve a sale price of US$35.3 million, the highest sale price on record ever achieved for a rough diamond, as it has the potential to produce one of the world’s most important polished gems. The sale proceeds further bolster Petra’s treasury and will be invested in the growth of our core assets.”

The proceeds from the sale of The Cullinan Heritage will add to Petra’s treasury and give the company further flexibility in funding the development of the underground operations at Cullinan and the expansion project at the Williamson mine, both of which are important steps in taking Petra’s annual production from the current 1 million carats to more than 3 million carats by 2019.

The Cullinan Heritage was recovered in September 2009 from Petra’s Cullinan mine in South Africa which has produced the majority of the world’s most famous and important diamonds.

The previous record price for a rough diamond was £12.1m, which was paid in 2008 by Graff Diamonds for the 478ct Light of Letseng diamond uncovered by Gem Diamonds.

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