Petra to analyse huge diamond before marketing
By Piers Monxton
LONDON, October 4, 2009 – Petra Diamonds has yet to reveal how it will market a colossal, 507.55 carat white diamond found last month in the renowned Cullinan mine in South Africa.
Analysis of the gemstone will indicate just how exceptional its colour and clarity are. For now the specifications and potential of the stone are not known.
Petra says the diamond is probably among the top 20 stones ever mined in the world by size. The Cullinan mine is the source of some of the largest diamonds ever found.
“It is pure speculation at this stage to know what this stone will yield,” said a senior fine jeweller who is familiar with magnificent diamonds.
Petra Diamonds says the 507 carat stone is “of exceptional colour and clarity.”
The London-listed miner believes that in terms of price, the only comparison was a similar sized diamond that raised $19 million in December 2008, after the financial crisis erupted.
Now that the diamond market is showing signs of recovery, the potential for the sale of Petra’s 507 carat diamond is to command a higher price than for that gemstone, but the price will ultimately depend on the quality of the stone.
Earlier this year diamond prices dropped by up to 65 percent from highs in mid-2008 but are now about 35 percent off those highs.
Jewellery experts say it is impossible to predict at this stage, before an analysis is completed, how best to cut and polish the 507 carat diamond to maximise its value, but add that the stone could potentially yield a polished diamond in excess of 100 carats.
“It depends what a very skilled cutter will be able to do with the diamond,” another senior fine jewellery expert said.
The rough stone could be transformed into a range of possible polished diamond cuts.
What is clear is the consensus that there is likely to be an enthusiastic market for this diamond, both among traditional buyers in Europe and the United States, and from the emerging markets, such as China, Russia and the Middle East.
The sale of this gemstone will be a barometer of the health of the market for magnificent, rare diamonds, and early indications suggest that it will achieve an impressive price.
“For stones of great quality, there are more buyers than sellers at the moment,” one leading fine jewellery marketer said.