122 Carat Diamond £60million was found in South Africa

The ‘exceptional’ 122.5-carat blue diamond was unearthed at the Cullinan mine in South Africa which is renowned for producing giant gems.A carat is equal to one-fifth of a gram, so Petra’s 122.5-carat stone is about 25g. In comparison, the average centrepiece diamond on an engagement ring weighs about one carat and is usually white.Shares in Petra rose nearly 8 per cent on the find yesterday, adding some £66 million to the value of the company in a day.

"The rarity of a blue diamond of this magnitude sets it apart as a truly significant find," the company said.Shares in the diamond miner rose almost 7% to a year high in early trading, making it the top percentage gainer on the FTSE-250 Midcap index.

122 carat large diamond rough

Petra, which acquired the famed diamond mine in 2008, said it would evaluate the optimal route to market the stone after a further analysis to assess its potential value."So far, the highest price on record paid for a rough diamond is $35.3m, paid in February 2010 for a 507 carat white stone, also recovered from Cullinan. We think that this stone may break that record," finnCap analyst Martin Potts said.

Blue diamonds get their colour from small amounts of the chemical element boron trapped in their crystal structure. The more ‘blue’ it is, the greater the value. They are the rarest diamonds after red, which are almost never found. Petra’s blue diamond is being kept under guard at a secret location in South Africa and will be sold in a private tender process in Johannesburg before being cut and polished.

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