A pastor in Sierra Leone has discovered a 706-carat diamond, according to the government, in one of the largest precious stone finds ever made worldwide. Pastor Emmanuel Momoh found the stone in an artisanal mine in the village of Koyadu in eastern Kono district.
"A 706-carat diamond was presented to President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma yesterday evening," the statement said, according to Al Jazeera. "Receiving the diamond President Koroma thanked the chief and his people for not smuggling the diamond out of the country," it added, referring to the Tankoro chiefdom where Momoh uncovered the gem.
In terms of the value of the diamond. A quick google search will lead you to value a 1 carat diamond at between $3000 and $27,000. So if you value one carat at approximately $15,000, you are looking at a value of over $10 million.
The diamond will be sold in an open and transparent bid in order to benefit the impoverished communities, according to the government. Despite its huge wealth in precious stones, Sierra Leone is raked as one of the world's five poorest nations, a United Nations report states.
The pastor is keen for the vast sum of money to bless the poorest communities in Sierra Leone. "I have to help the government and my people, so all of us can benefit," presidential spokesman Abdulai Bayraytay quoted the pastor as saying.
The country has a brutal history of 'blood diamond' smuggling, fueling the ongoing civil war. So, the government is keen to demonstrate that this trade is a thing of the past and handle the sale of this extraordinary stone with due care. Diamond expert Paul Zimnisky told the AFP news agency that once the gem's quality was assessed it could rank "between the 10th and 15th largest gem-diamonds ever recovered".