Petra sells blue for US$27.6m

Petra Diamonds has sold the 122.52 carat blue diamond recovered from its Cullinan mine in June for US$27.6 million.

Petra CEO Johan Dippenaar said that the diamond had been sold to a beneficiation partnership comprising Petra (15 percent) and an unnamed polishing partner (85 percent) which will see Petra receive 15 percent of proceeds from the sale of the cut and polished stone.

“We are pleased to have concluded this arrangement which records an excellent sales value for the rough stone, and also gives Petra exposure to the uplift in value post beneficiation,” he said. “We look forward to providing the market with further information on the stone’s journey at the appropriate time in the future.”

The stone was recovered at Petra’s Cullianan mine – one of the world’s most celebrated diamond mines – located at the foothills of the Magaliesberg mountain range, 37 kilometres north-east of Pretoria in South Africa. Cullinan earned its place in history with the discovery of the Cullinan diamond in 1905, the largest rough gem diamond ever found at 3106 carats.

This stone was cut into the two most important diamonds which form part of the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London – the First Star of Africa, which is mounted at the top of the Sovereign’s Sceptre and which at 530 carats is the largest flawless cut diamond in the world, and the Second Star of Africa, a 317 carat polished diamond which forms the centrepiece of the Imperial State Crown.

Cullinan is also known as the world’s most important source of blue diamonds and since Petra acquired the mine in 2008, it has produced a number of exceptional blues including:
•    A 39.9 carat diamond which sold for US$8.8 million (or US$220,551 per carat) in 2008.
•    A 26.6 carat diamond which yielded a fancy vivid blue and internally flawless 7.0 carat polished stone. The stone sold for US$9.49 million (or US$1.35 million per carat) at a Sotheby’s auction in 2009 and was subsequently named the ‘Star of Josephine’ by its new owner.
•    A 25.5 carat diamond which sold for US$16.9 million (or US$663,144 per carat) in 2013.
•    A 29.6 carat diamond which sold for US$25.6 million (or US$862,780 per carat) in February 2014.

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