Petra Diamonds sold a 425-carat D color Type IIa white diamond, the ‘Legacy of the Cullinan Diamond Mine’, for just under $15 million, or approximately $35,295 per carat. Unearthed from its Cullinan mine in South Africa, the 424.89 carat gem was purchased by a partnership combining Belgium-based Choron and Dubai-based Stargems. It is expected to be polished in Antwerp. In a news release, Petra chief executive officer Richard Duffy called it a “significant sale” for the company.
“[It is] an endorsement of the quality not only of the Legacy diamond, but also the Cullinan ore body itself, which is known for its exceptional stones,” he said. Shailesh Javeri, chairman of Stargems added, “The Cullinan diamond mine has produced some of the most iconic diamonds the world has ever seen, and, as a key client of Petra Diamonds, we are honored to have the opportunity to polish the Legacy of the Cullian Diamond Mine.” The mine is renowned for yielding the largest rough gem diamond ever found - 3,106 carats - and for being the world’s main source of rare blue diamonds.
Petra bought the Cullinan mine from De Beers in 2008, but the company has been struggling to clear its multi-million-dollar debts after it borrowed heavily to revamp the Cullinan facility and began mining a new section of ore last July. However, Cullinan has been profitable every year since Petra acquired it in 2008 and the miner is aiming to turn free cash flow positive this year, an objective which this sale will certainly contribute to.