Dominion Diamond Mines announced that a 552 ct. yellow diamond (pictured) has been discovered at the Diavik mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories. The mine says the stone is the largest gem-quality diamond ever found in North America.
A Dominion statement says it doesn’t plan to sell the stone as a piece of rough but will find a partner to cut and polish it, noting that “only a handful of master cutters” are qualified to do so.
The statement says that it is “too soon” to place a value on this stone.
The company expects to make the diamond part of its Canadamark program.
The find surpasses the gem previously considered the largest gem ever found in North America—the 187.7 ct. Foxfire, which was found in 2015, also at Diavik. That was polished and turned into a 37.87 ct. pear-shape and a 36.8 ct. pear-shape that were both recently auctioned as part of a Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale and were purchased for $1.3 million.
“A diamond of this size is completely unexpected for this part of the world and marks a true milestone for diamond mining in North America and Canadamark diamonds overall,” said Dominion in a statement.
The company added that “its color, texture, and structure are also unique from a geological perspective and may be studied further,” though it did not specify what is unique about them.
Kyle Washington, chairman of Dominion Diamond Mines, said in a statement, “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.”
Washington is the eldest son of Dennis Washington, owner of Washington Companies, which purchased Dominion last year. Dominion owns the Ekati mine, also in the Northwest Territories, and markets 40 percent of production from Diavik.
Dominion’s CEO, Patrick Evans, resigned this month.
(Images courtesy of Dominion Diamond Corp.)