Developing

'Unprecedented' pink diamond found in Australia

12.76 carat stone largest ever found in country

A mining company in Australia claims to have unearthed a 12.76 carat pink diamond - the largest ever found in the country.

The rough diamond - estimated to be worth millions - was found in Rio Tinto's Argyle mine in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia.

More than 90 per cent of the world's pink diamonds come from this mine.

 This is the 12.76 carat pink diamond that has been discovered in Australia

It will be known as The Argyle Pink Jubilee.

It is similar in colour to The Williamson Pink, which is the diamond that Her Majesty The Queen received as a wedding gift and was subsequently set into a brooch for her Coronation.

[Related story: US scientists discover new 'waterworld' planet]

Large pink diamonds tend to go to museums, are gifted to royalty or end up at auction houses like Christie's auctions. Christie's has only auctioned 18 polished pink diamonds over 10 carats in its 244 year history.

Expert diamond polisher Richard How Kim Kam has now started work in Perth on preparing the stone.

After assessing it for two months, it will take about 10 days to cut and polish the diamond as a single stone.

Mr Kam said "I'm going to take it very carefully. I know the world will be watching."

When the diamond has been cut and polished it will be graded by a team of experts and showcased to the world before being sold later this year.

Argyle Pink Diamonds manager Josephine Johnson said "This rare diamond is generating incredible excitement.

"A diamond of this calibre is unprecedented - it has taken 26 years of Argyle production to unearth this stone and we may never see one like this again. The individual who gets to wear this remarkable pink diamond will be incredibly lucky indeed."


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