The sale of the historic "Peace Diamond" to Graff Diamonds will improve lives in one of the world's poorest countries.
Graff Diamonds of London announced that it has bought the 709-carat rough diamond, known as the Sierra Leone Peace Diamond for $6.5 million. This exceptionally large diamond was discovered in the West African country in March 2017 and it is 14th largest ever discovered and the third largest to emerge from Sierra Leone. It has been named the Peace Diamond because its sale in New York on the 4 December 2017 will bring significant economic benefit to the region of Sierra Leone in which it was found.
Prayers were answered when Pastor Emmanuel Momoh, former owner of the Peace Diamond found in Sierra Leone whose integrity in taking the find of a lifetime to the government was able to facilitate the proceeds from its sale to benefit the community in the region where the diamond was found.
The diamond was discovered in river sediment by five artisanal' miners in the village of Koryardu, it is thanks to the honesty of Pastor Emmanuel Momoh above, previously the legal owner of the gem, that the Peace Diamond will benefit the region. Soon after its discovery, he took the find of a lifetime to Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, the president of Sierra Leone, who pledged to auction the rough diamond through official government channels in a fully transparent and accountable manner.
The Rapaport Group based in New York, which is responsible for the marketing and sale of the gem, has partnered with the government of Sierra Leone on a pro bono basis. Approximately 41% of the proceeds of the sale of the diamond will go to the government while the remaining 59%, or $3.8 million, will benefit the local community in the Kono district, which has an estimated population of 250,000.
Pastor Emmanuel Momoh said of the sale: “The Peace Diamond will greatly improve the lives of our people as it will bring clean water, electricity, schools, medical facilities, bridges and roads to our villages and the Kono District. This diamond represents our hope for a better future as the resources of Sierra Leone fund growth, development and jobs.”
Tobias Korming, Managing Director of 77 Diamonds, Europe’s largest online diamond jeweller comments: “I hope we see much more of this integrity and vision in the global diamond industry… The sale of the Peace Diamond has been the most transparent process ever taken for a diamond sold from Sierra Leone and it will encourage artisanal diggers who discover diamonds in Sierra Leone to bring them to the government instead of being tempted to smuggle them. In this way, Sierra Leone is following Botswana’s example, using its precious resources for the good of hundreds of thousands of people.”
Martin Rapaport, chairman of the Rapaport Group says: “Its beauty is its role as a peace diamond. It is not just a 709-carat diamond, it is so much more than that. For the first time ever we are seeing the legitimisation of the distribution of artisanal diamonds from Sierra Leone. It’s one thing to have a beautiful D Flawless diamond, but what’s really special is that here we are talking about a diamond that is going to create food, electricity, clean water, education, roads and bridges.