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African Pastor Finds One of the World’s Largest Diamonds…Then Gives It Away

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In this photo taken from video footage, Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma hands a diamond during a meeting with delegates of Kono district, where the gem was found, at the presidential office in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Thursday, March 16, 2017. A pastor in Sierra Leone has discovered the largest uncut diamond found in more than four decades in this West African country and has turned it over to the government, saying he hopes it helps to boost recent development in his impoverished nation. (SLBC via AP)
Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma holds the recently discovered 700-plus carat diamond at the presidential office in Freetown, Sierra Leone. (SLBC via AP)

 

Diamonds aren’t just a girl’s best friend anymore. In fact, the entire west African country of Sierra Leone is rejoicing after a local pastor found one of the world’s largest uncut diamonds and then turned it over to his nation’s government to help fund development. The uncut stone, which weighs 700-plus carats and is about the size of a hockey puck, exhibits gemstone-like quality and is the largest diamond found in the country since 1972.

In a country notorious for diamond smuggling—diamonds were banned for export during the country’s civil war—President Ernest Bai Koroma quickly released a public statement thanking Pastor Emmanuel Momoh for not taking the diamond out of the country. Currently the diamond is being kept at the country’s central bank in Freetown.

No one knows exactly how much the diamond is worth, but Analyst Mathew Nyaungwa told BBC that it’s the one of the largest diamonds ever found. In 2015, a Canadian mining firm found a 813-carat diamond in Botswana that later sold for $63 million. However, the price, Nyaungwa noted, is more often determined by quality rather than its uncut size.

 

In this photo taken from video footage, Sierra Leone's Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray hands a diamond during a meeting with delegates of Kono district, where the gem was found, at the presidential office in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Thursday, March 16, 2017. A pastor in Sierra Leone has discovered the largest uncut diamond found in more than four decades in this West African country and has turned it over to the government, saying he hopes it helps to boost recent development in his impoverished nation. (SLBC via AP)
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray holds the diamond. (SLBC via AP)

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