The largest diamond ever found in North America, at 552 carats, was on display at Phillips auction house in New York on Wednesday.
The giant egg-sized fancy yellow diamond was discovered in October at the Diavik Diamond Mine in Northwest Territories, Canada, about 140 miles south of the Arctic Circle.
Dominion Diamond Mines and Rio Tinto Group unearthed the diamond, which is currently ranked 25th on the list of the world’s largest rough diamonds.
“We have a lot of very aggressive crushing to liberate the diamonds,” said James Pounds, executive vice president of Dominion Diamond Mines. “We don’t use any chemicals in the liberation process of diamonds. They are liberated purely by crushing the rock and extracting them. So you can imagine that this has been passed through quite a few very aggressive crushing machines and has survived and that is one of the things that I found, this was a diamond that was meant to be.”
Pounds said the diamond’s value is unclear because it still needs to be cut and polished.
“To me, it’s priceless,” he said. “To me, with someone born into natural diamonds, natural rough diamonds, I don’t even want to see it cut. I just think it’s beautiful as it stands. So no, we don’t have a price on it at the moment. We’ve got to consult with all the experts around the world, from here in New York to Israel to Antwerp in Belgium, over to India, and really consult on how we’re going to liberate the most beautiful piece of polished out of this.”