It’s a rare moment when a gemstone is discovered that draws the undivided attention of the entire industry. This exact thing happened when a huge colourless ‘white diamond’ was unearthed in the sweltering heat of Angola, in southern Africa. It was a staggered find, three inches across, plucked from the reddish soil by an unsuspecting miner. This huge diamond was then transported to New York where a specially assembled team of experts peered through their loupes, conferred and eventually reached a final valuation. In the end they decided that it was a 404.2ct diamond and thereby the largest one ever flown out of Angola. It was valued at a jaw-dropping $14 million and ‘virtually flawless’. In technical terms that means it is a Type IIa stone, or, as the Gemological Institute of America dictated, a D-coloured diamond – one of the rarest in existence. It now belongs to a one percent group of diamonds notable for their eminent quality. Aside from being the largest diamond ever unearthed in Angola, it also ranks fourth out of all the discoveries from every diamond-producing nation in history, trumping even the ‘Angolan Star’, which was a 217ct diamond found in 2007.
Many of these unique ‘super-diamond’ finds can be attributed to a relatively small, joint Angolan and Australian enterprise called the Lulo Diamond Project. This company went on to unearth no less than sixty of these ‘super diamonds’, many of which were found embedded in a short stretch of mined land in Central Angola. It probably won’t shock you to learn that company shares experienced an exponential growth after these discoveries were made public. However, in spite of their valiant efforts, they have still been unable to match one particular find that sails ahead with the all-time record. We’re talking about a spectacular 3,106ct stone that was found in South Africa in 1905. This ‘Mother of All Diamonds’ can now be seen under vigilant protection at the Tower of London in the UK. It weighs a hefty 1.3 pounds and is categorised as a Cullinan diamond, whilst also being associated with the crown jewels of the British royal family.