Johan Dippenaar, the CEO of Petra Diamonds, said, “We are delighted to have achieved the sales result for this exceptional white stone, which is an outstanding example of the very high-quality, large diamonds produced at Cullinan.”
The Cullinan mine earned its place in history with the discovery of the Cullinan diamond in 1905, the largest rough gem diamond ever found at 3,106 carats. The stone was cut into the two most important diamonds, forming 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 that forms the centerpiece of the Imperial State Crown.
In 2009, Petra recovered the Cullinan Heritage diamond, weighing 507 carats, which sold in February 2010 for $35.3 million. In addition, since Petra acquired the mine in 2008, it has produced a number of world class blue diamonds, including a 29.60-carat diamond that sold for $25.6 million (or $862,780 per carat) in February and a 122.50-carat blue diamond that sold this past month for $27.6 million or $225,269 per carat.
In addition to the Cullinan mine, Petra Diamonds has interests the Finsch, Koffiefontein, Kimberley underground and Helam mines in South Africa and the Williamson mine in Tanzania. Petra also maintains an exploration program in Botswana. The company is driving toward producing 5 million carats of rough annually by the year 2019 and has a resource base in excess of 300 million carats.