Rare Cullinan diamond
342.92-carat Type IIa white diamond (Image: Petra Diamonds)
  • Two unpolished diamonds, 342.92-carat Type IIa and a 18.30-carat Type IIb blue diamond, have been sold for $13.5 million (R202 million).
  • These precious stones were recovered from the iconic Cullinan Mine by Petra Diamonds and add to a long list of notable finds and sales in 2021 alone.
  • The diamonds have been sold into a partnership with Stargems and will be cut and polished in Johannesburg.
  • As part of the deal, Petra retains a 50% interest in the profit uplift of the polished proceeds of both diamonds.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Two rare diamonds recovered from the iconic Cullinan Mine in Gauteng by a British mining firm have sold for more than R200 million. The precious stones will be cut and polished in Johannesburg before being put on the market.

Petra Diamonds, which purchased the Cullinan Mine from De Beers in 2008 for R1 billion, has made several notable finds in over the past several years. At least eight diamonds recovered from the mine have earned Petra more than $207 million (R3 billion).

Discoveries over the past year have been particularly significant for Petra and the mine which produced the Cullinan Diamond mounted in the Crown Jewels in the early 1900s.

Sales of diamonds recovered by Petra have topped $52 million (R780 million) in 2021 alone. This includes the sale of a 299.3-carat Type IIa white diamond in January and a 39.34-carat exceptional Type IIb blue diamond in July, which fetched the highest price for a single stone ever recovered by Petra.

The 342.92-carat Type IIa white diamond recovered in July – the third biggest stone mined by Petra – recently sold for $10 million (R150 million). An 18.30-carat Type IIb blue diamond, sold along with the white diamond, fetched $3.5 million (R52.4 million).

Rare Cullinan diamond
342.92-carat Type IIa white diamond (Image: Petra Diamonds)

Both unpolished stones were sold into a partnership with Stargems, which allows for the diamonds to be cut and polished in South Africa. As part of the deal, Petra retains a 50% interest in the profit uplift of the polished proceeds of both diamonds.

“These two diamonds are wonderful examples of the very high quality and rare white and blue diamonds that are so well known from the Cullinan Diamond Mine,” said Richard Duffy, Petra’s CEO, in a statement confirming the sale on Wednesday.

“We are delighted that both stones will be manufactured in South Africa, and it is fitting that we will be working with Stargems, who specialise in the sourcing and supply of the finest diamonds to customers across the world.”

The price of a diamond is determined by the stone’s carat weight, cut, colour, and clarity. Blue diamonds, which have a blue tinge due to boron impurities, are considered more valuable due to their rarity. The quality of the diamond’s final cut determines the price of the polished stone.

“It is with great honour that we have entered into a partnership arrangement with Petra on these two diamonds from the world-renowned Cullinan Diamond Mine,” said Shailesh Javeri, chairman of Stargems Group.

“The stones will be beneficiated in South Africa at our Stargems cutting factory in Johannesburg and we look forward to working closely with Petra during the manufacturing process to reveal the eventual polished gems.”

(Compiled by Luke Daniel)

Get the best of our site emailed to you every weekday.

Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.