Miners in Angola have unearthed a rare pure pink diamond, which could be the largest found in 300 years, the mine operator said on Wednesday.
The 170-carat pink diamond — dubbed The Lulo Rose — was discovered at Lulo mine in Angola's diamond-rich north-east and is among the largest pink diamonds ever found, the Lucapa Diamond Company said.
The "historic" find of the Type IIa diamond, one of the rarest and purest forms of natural stones, was welcomed by the Angolan government, which is also a partner in the mine.
"This record and spectacular pink diamond recovered from Lulo continues to showcase Angola as an important player on the world stage," Angola's Mineral Resources Minister Diamantino Azevedo said.
The Lulo concession, a 3,000-square-kilometre area around 600km from Angola's capital Luanda, was the site of the largest diamond find in Angola: the 404-carat “4th February Stone” in 2016.
The Gemological Institute of America said at the time the "extreme rarity of a diamond of this quality cannot be overstated".
Similar pink diamonds have sold for record-breaking prices, including the most expensive diamond ever sold, the 59.6-carat Pink Star. It was sold at a Hong Kong auction in 2017 for $71.2 million.
The Lulo Rose would have to be cut and polished to realise its true value, in a process that can see a stone lose 50 per cent of its weight. It will be sold at international tender by the Angolan State diamond marketing company.
Dr José Manuel Ganga Júnior, chairman of the board of Endiama, one of the partners in the Lulo mine, said the find marked a "significant day" for the Angola diamond industry.
“The record-breaking Lulo diamond field has again delivered a precious and large gemstone, this time an extremely rare and beautiful pink diamond," he said. "It is a significant day for the Angolan diamond industry and the long-standing partnership between Endiama, Lucapa and Rosas and Petalas.”
AFP contributed to this report