This Massive 706-Carat Diamond Was Just Discovered in Sierra Leone

Pastor finds the 13th LARGEST diamond ever weighing 709 carats

Pastor finds the 13th LARGEST diamond ever weighing 709 carats

Emmanuel Momoh, a clergy man in Sierra Leone's diamond-rich Kone district, has discovered one of the world's largest raw or uncut diamonds.

According to the Mines Minister, the diamond was discovered by Pastor Emmanuel A. Momoh who is engaged in alluvial mining at Koyadu village in Tankoro Chiefdom.

Even though diamonds can be found in about a quarter of Sierra Leone, the country of about six million people is one of the world's five poorest nations, according to the United Nations.

Mr Nyaungwa adds that it is hard to estimate a price as it is "quality not size [that] determines the value of a diamond".

The presidency said in a statement that Mr Koroma thanked the chief, who acted as an intermediary, for not smuggling it out of the country.

What would you do if you were in Pastor Momoh's shoes? The pastor turned the diamond over to the government in hopes that the proceeds from its sale will help the impoverished country.

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The precious gem will be sold in a "transparent" bidding process and is believed that it will likely leave the country once it is bought. A US-based diamond expert Paul Zimnisky told AFP that once the gem's quality was assessed it could rank "between the 10th and 15th largest gem-diamonds ever recovered".

Sierra Leone is well known for its diamond industry but it has had a chequered history.

Zimnisky said the stone would likely be sold outside Sierra Leone, despite the government's assertion, for better access to buyers. It is still the second-largest diamond of all time and had a price tag of more than $70 million.

The gem may not be the largest ever found, but it's pretty close.

For individuals growing up in Sierra Leone becoming an artisan miner is just the natural thing to do.

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