Ra­pa­port To Auc­tion 709-ct Peace Di­a­mond In De­cem­ber

Solitaire - - SPECTRUM -

The Ra­pa­port Group will auc­tion the 709-carat Peace Di­a­mond in New York in early De­cem­ber fol­low­ing view­ings in global trad­ing cen­tres. The rough stone, con­sid­ered the 14th-largest di­a­mond in his­tory, is on dis­play in Is­rael un­til Oc­to­ber 27th, and will go on show in Bel­gium from Oc­to­ber 30th to Novem­ber 10th. It will ap­pear in New York start­ing Novem­ber 13th ahead of the evening auc­tion on De­cem­ber 4th.

Ar­ti­sanal min­ers found the di­a­mond in Sierra Leone’s Kono district in the vil­lage of Ko­r­yardu in March. The gov­ern­ment auc­tioned the stone in May, but re­jected the high­est bid of $7.8 mil­lion, and sub­se­quently ap­pointed Ra­pa­port as its sales and mar­ket­ing agent.

The sale of the Peace Di­a­mond in a trans­par­ent man­ner will en­sure the pro­ceeds go to build­ing up key lo­cal in­fra­struc­ture, ex­plained Mar­tin Ra­pa­port, the group’s chair­man, in an on­line video con­fer­ence.

The sale will be li­able to a 15% roy­alty to the Sierra Leone gov­ern­ment and 30% in­come tax. In ad­di­tion to Pas­tor Em­manuel Mo­moh, who owns the di­a­mond, the five ar­ti­sanal diggers who found it will re­ceive a sig­nif­i­cant amount.

Over 50% of the sale value will di­rectly ben­e­fit the peo­ple of Sierra Leone, as well as the vil­lage and district where the di­a­mond was found. It will di­rectly fund clean wa­ter, elec­tric­ity, school, med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties, bridges and roads, none of which are cur­rently avail­able in Ko­r­yardu.

While Ra­pa­port has not re­leased the rough di­a­mond’s colour and clar­ity spec­i­fi­ca­tions, it likely con­tains at least one 95-carat to 100-carat pol­ished di­a­mond, Mar­tin Ra­pa­port said. “This is not a sim­ple di­a­mond,” he ex­plained. “It is a di­a­mond which has many di­a­monds in it. This is prob­a­bly one of the most com­pli­cated di­a­monds in the world. This is the be­gin­ning of a whole new con­cept of di­a­mond mar­ket­ing. For me per­son­ally, this is a labour of love.”

Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, Pres­i­dent of Sierra Leone, said, “I thank the lo­cal chief and his peo­ple for not smug­gling the di­a­mond out of the coun­try, and the own­ers should get what is due to them and it should also ben­e­fit the coun­try as a whole. The gov­ern­ment re­mains com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing a trans­par­ent and com­pet­i­tive auc­tion process that will en­sure fair mar­ket value for Sierra Leone’s di­a­monds. We call on the world­wide di­a­mond in­dus­try to bid gen­er­ously for the Peace Di­a­mond as it will bring vi­tal in­fra­struc­ture and ben­e­fit to thou­sands of Sierra Leone’s ar­ti­sanal diggers.”

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