Nature

The largest known diamond in North America has been found below Canada’s Arctic

The largest diamond ever discovered in North America was unearthed in October, Canadian mining company Dominion Diamond Mines announced in a Thursday news release.

Weighing in at 552 carats, the yellow diamond was recovered at the Diavik Diamond Mine, located in Northern Canada about 135 miles south of the Arctic Circle. 

Bloomberg News reports that the largest gems are typically found in mines in southern Africa, and that this discovery is the seventh-biggest this century.

The stone is apparently the size of a chicken egg, according to Bloomberg News.

“Abrasion markings on the stone’s surface attest to the difficult journey it underwent during recovery, and the fact that it remains intact is remarkable,” the release read.

Dominion Diamond Mines, which calls the gemstone “astonishing,” notes that the previous North American record was held by the Diavik Foxfire — a 187.7-carat gem-quality diamond recovered in the same mine by the Rio Tinto Group.

That stone was displayed at the Smithsonian in 2016 next to the famous Hope Diamond.

The Diavik Foxfire was later turned into a pair of yellow earrings, which sold for more than $1.5 million, according to Bloomberg News. That stone is about one-third the weight of this record-sized gem, however.

In 2015, a 1,111-carat diamond was discovered in a Botswana Mine. The size of a human palm, it came second to only the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond, which was found in 1905 in South Africa.

Because it’s still being evaluated, this diamond’s ultimate worth hasn’t been determined, according to the release. It will not be sold in its rough form and will soon be polished.

“The color and texture of the diamond are a unique example of the journey that natural diamonds take from their formation until we unearth them,” Kyle Washington, chairman of Dominion Diamond Mines, said in the release.

The company owns 40 percent of Diavik Diamond Mine.

2018 © The Washington Post

This article was originally published by The Washington Post.

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