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Canada

Miners in Canada unearth diamond the size of a chicken egg, largest ever in North America

  • The discovery is the seventh-biggest this century and would be among the 30 largest stones ever unearthed
PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 December, 2018, 10:10am
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 December, 2018, 10:42am

The largest diamond ever discovered in North America was unearthed in October, Canadian mining company Dominion Diamond Mines announced.

Weighing in at 552 carats, the yellow diamond was recovered at the Diavik Diamond Mine, located in Northern Canada about 220km (135 miles) south of the Arctic Circle.

Bloomberg News reported that the largest gems were typically found in mines in southern African, and that this discovery was the seventh-biggest this century.

The stone was apparently the size of a chicken egg.

“Abrasion markings on the stone’s surface attest to the difficult journey it underwent during recovery, and the fact that it remains intact is remarkable,” the release read.

Dominion Diamond Mines, which calls the gemstone “astonishing”, noted that the previous North American record was held by the “Diavik Foxfire” – a 187.7-carat gem-quality diamond recovered in the same mine by the Rio Tinto Group.

That stone was displayed at the Smithsonian in 2016 next to the famous “Hope Diamond”.

The Diavik Foxfire was later turned into a pair of yellow earrings, which sold for more than US$1.5 million, according to Bloomberg.

That stone is about one-third the weight of this record-sized gem, however. It is an absolute unit.

In 2015, a 1,111-carat diamond was discovered in a Botswana Mine. The size of a human palm, it came second to only the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond, which was found in 1905 in South Africa.

Because it’s still being evaluated, this diamond’s ultimate worth hasn’t been determined, according to the release. It will not be sold in its rough form and will be soon be polished.

“The colour and texture of the diamond are a unique example of the journey that natural diamonds take from their formation until we unearth them,” Kyle Washington, chairman of Dominion Diamond Mines, said in the release.

The company owns 40 per cent of Diavik Diamond Mine