Another rare stone has been discovered. Last week Rio Tinto, the operator of Canada’s Diavik mine, announced the sale of their newly-uncovered, 187.7 carat diamond. Buried in the Northwest Territories roughly 130 miles south of the Arctic Circle, larger stones are a rarity, and the diamond would have been destroyed had its elongated shape not caused it to slip sideways through a filtering screen. The stone was (thankfully) recovered and dubbed Foxfire, named after the aboriginal description of the Northern Lights that are so frequent to the skies over where it was discovered. The Diavik Diamond mine where Foxfire was uncovered has unearthed over 90 million carats since it first began operating in 2003.
“We are delighted to showcase this exceptional, two billion-year-old Canadian diamond. Its ancient beginnings, together with the fortitude, finesse and innovative technology required to unearth a diamond in the challenging sub-arctic environment, make it a true miracle of nature,” Rio Tinto Diamonds managing director Jean-Marc Lieberherr noted. The 187.7 carat diamond has a slight yellow tone to it, making it slightly less valuable than the perfectly colorless stones used for jewelry and engagement rings. While the color could bring down the price, experts are suggesting the recent excitement around The Lesedi la Rona, a 1,109 carat diamond found in Botswana, The Constellation, a 813 carat stone that sold for a record-breaking $63.1 million, and a 404.2 carat stone found in Australia earlier this year, could drive the prices up.
Currently the stone is being put on display around the world for potential bidders to see up close. It was showcased in New York’s Langham Place Hotel and Kensington Palace in London; next it will make stops in Antwerp and Tel Aviv. Due to the stone’s unusual story, color and shape, some suggest the stone may not be cut into pieces at all, but will likely be kept in its original rough form, possibly stored in a museum or personal collection. David Shara, CEO of Optimum Diamonds and prospective buyer, has other plans for the stone if he’s the lucky winner. He’s considering shaping it into a 100-carat maple leaf to celebrate its Canadian roots.