Rare 158-Carat Diamond Unearthed in Russia; Should Bring $1.5 Million at Auction

Russia’s largest diamond mining company, Alrosa, recently unearthed a rare 158.2-carat diamond that’s the size of a ping-pong ball and worth more than $1.5 million, according to the Daily Mail. A spokesperson for Alrosa said the mammoth diamond was discovered at its Nyurbinsk mine in the Russian republic of Yakutia. The diamond is believed to rank #32 on the list of the world’s largest diamonds.

The Alrosa spokesperson noted that the giant diamond will have one of two fates. It can be left in its natural rough state and sold at auction, where it would bring about $1.5 million. Or it can be processed and cut into several high-quality diamonds, each expected to be worth several hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Alrosa accounts for 28 percent of the world’s diamond production, and boasts proven diamond reserves that will enable it to maintain diamond production for more than 25 years.

Despite its enormous size, Alrosa’s diamond prize weighs barely 5% as much as the heaviest diamond ever recorded. The granddaddy of them all is the Cullinan, which was discovered in South Africa in 1905 and weighed in at an astonishing 3,106.75 carats. It was subsequently cleaved into 105 diamonds, including nine major diamonds, 96 small diamonds and 9.5 carats of unpolished pieces.

The nine major diamonds became part of the English Crown Jewels. Both the Cullinan I (530.4 carats) and Cullinan II (317.4 carats) are on display with other Crown Jewels in the Tower of London.

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