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709-carat Sierra Leone 'peace' diamond sells for over $6.5m

709-carat Sierra Leone 'peace' diamond sells for over $6.5m

The government of Sierra Leone has sold a 709-carat rough diamond, named the "peace diamond", at an auction in NY on Monday, fetching a lower-than-expected price of $6.5 million.

Half of the proceeds - $3.8m - will be used to fund infrastructure projects to benefit the community of the small village where it was discovered.

Ahead of Monday's auction, the diamond was shown to some 70 potential buyers and received seven bids, Rapaport said.

In contrast, the 709-carat rough gem sold in NY will see its proceeds used to improve conditions in the small village where it was found. Schools, hospitals, electricity, clean water and transportation all stand to benefit from the sale, according to the Rapaport Group, which handled the auction.

"The color of this diamond is very uncertain".

Ashes: Clinical Australia make it 2-0
Root, however, simply walked from the field after edging behind. "I didn't think it could happen that quickly", Hazlewood said. Australia now have an opportunity to regain the Ashes in the third Test, which begins at the WACA on Thursday next week.

Laurence Graff, chairman of Graff Diamonds, won the precious stone - nicknamed the "peace diamond" - in bidding on Monday.

". when you get someone like Graff interested in the social benefits, in the social responsibility, you're opening a new world of diamond demand - demand for diamonds that make the world a better place".

The diamond is said to be the 14th-largest ever discovered, according to the Rapaport Group, which auctioned the stone in NY on behalf of Sierra Leone's government.

The government had expected the stone, the first ever to be sold at a public auction, to fetch $7 million.

Officials said they also hoped the sale will help combat the West African country's illicit diamond trade.


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