The 170-carat Lulo Rose. (Photo courtesy of the Lucapa Diamond Company)
A 170-carat fancy pink rough diamond was sold this week, but with little fanfare. Indeed one had to read between the lines to get an inkling about for much it was purchased, and even then information provided was incomplete.
In a laconic announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange, or ASX, the Perth-based Lucapa Diamond Company and and its partners, the state-owned Angolan miner Endiama and and Rosas & Petalas, a private company, reported that seven “exceptional” diamonds were sold for $20.4 million at an international diamond tender.
Conducted by Sodiam in Luanda, the tender Angola included a handful of goods from the Lulo alluvial mine, weighing a total of 767 carats. One of them was the 170-carat fancy colored diamond “Lulo Rose,” but the sales also three plus-100 carat white Type IIa diamonds and three other special sized white Type IIa stones.
The seven diamonds averaged $26,536 per carat.
AN EXTREMELY RARE FIND
When it was discovered earlier this year, the Lulo Rose was according to Lucapa the largest such gemstone found in 300 years.
Only one in 10,000 diamonds found are colored, said Stephen Wetherall, managing director of the Lucapa, at the time.“And only one in every 100 diamonds is greater than 10.8 carats in size, so recovering a 170-carat pink diamond means we are dealing with an extremely rare article,” Wetherall said.
“We have recovered pink diamonds before, but finding one this size is extremely rare,” he said.
The Lulo alluvial diamond mine is located in the in the Lunda Norte region of Angola. approximately 630 kilometers east of the country’s capital of Luanda. It lies within an ideal geological setting where the Lucapa Graben crosses Angola’s most diamond rich Cuango basin. The Lucapa Graben is the same geological belt hosting most of Angola’s producing kimberlite mines, including neighbouring Catoca, the world’s fourth largest diamond mine.
Over the past decade, exploration by Lucapa and its partners Endiama has been successful in proving up one of the world’s most prolific alluvial diamond fields at Lulo, along with more100 kimberlite pipes.
The Lulo alluvial diamond mine. (Photo courtesy of Lucapa Diamond Company )
Commercial diamond production commenced at the site in 2015 through alluvial mining company Sociedade Mineira Do Lulo. The average U.S. dollar sales prices achieved for Lulo diamonds are among the highest of any alluvial mine in the world.
SALE OF THE FORTUNE PINK
Making more news was the sale on November 8, 2022 at Christie’s Geneva of the “Fortune Pink” diamond for more than $28.5 million at auction to a private Asian collector.
At 18.18 carats, the gem is the largest pear-shaped “fancy vivid pink” diamond ever sold at auction, Christie’s auction house said.
The bidding lasted in only four minutes, starting at 17 million Swiss francs. It a three-way battle between telephone bidders, and the winning offer was received after the successful bidder upped his offer by a full half million.
The Fortune Pink had been estimated to sell at between $25 million and $35 million.
Max Fawcett, head of Christie’s jewelry department in Geneva, said the stone with a strong, saturated pink color was mined in Brazil more than 15 years ago. He called the diamond as “a true miracle of nature.”
“We’ve had a huge amount of interest in the stone from all over the world,” Fawcett told an interviewer an interview. “It’s a truly incredible diamond.”
The 18.8-carat Fortune Pink, which sold for more than $28.million. (Photo courtesy of Christie’s)