Rare blue diamond could fetch more than $35 million

Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:54am EDT
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By Karen Rebelo

LONDON (Reuters) - A rare 122.52-carat blue diamond found in South Africa could fetch more than $35 million for a London-listed mining company.

Only three or four blue diamonds over 100 carats have ever been recovered, according to Cathy Mallins, corporate communications manager at Petra Diamonds Ltd.

So far, the highest price on record for a rough diamond is $35.3 million, paid in February 2010 for a 507-carat white stone recovered from the same mine, finnCap analyst Martin Potts said in a research note.

"We think that this stone may break that record," he said.

Both diamonds were recovered from the Cullinan mine, the source of many large diamonds, including the largest rough gem diamond ever recovered - the 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond found in 1905.

That diamond was cut into two stones that are part of Britain's Crown Jewels held in the Tower of London.

Petra's shares rose as much as 7 percent on Friday, making them the top percentage gainer on the FTSE-250 Midcap Index.

Petra said it would evaluate the optimal route to market the stone after further analysis to assess its potential value. [ID:nRSM5275Ja]   Continued...