De Beers has purchased five rough blue diamonds from Petra Diamonds for more than $40 million in partnership with one of its sightholders.
The miner bought the Letlapa Tala collection together with South African wholesaler and manufacturer Diacore for $40.4 million, split equally between the two companies.
The type IIb stones, which originated from Petra’s Cullinan mine in South Africa, weigh a total of 85.6 carats, with the individual diamonds ranging from 9.61 to 25.75 carats, Petra said Wednesday. The sale price at the November 24 tender exceeded analysts’ predictions.
Liberum believed the stones would fetch “in the region of $30 million to $40 million,” while Berenberg predicted approximately $26 million,they told Rapaport News. “The result of this special tender affirms the very high value placed on blue diamonds,” said Petra CEO Richard Duffy. “We believe this to be the first time that five rough blue diamonds of significant size, color and clarity have been offered for sale at one time, and we are delighted that the collection has been bought in its entirety.” Diacore, which specializes in manufacturing rare,fancy-color diamonds, has worked with De Beers before.
It previously cut the miner’s 203.04-carat De Beers Millennium Star, and has also worked on other well-known stones, such as the CTF Pink Star, a 59.60-carat pink bought by Hong Kong jeweler Chow Tai Fook for $71.2 million in 2017. The manufacturer, with cutting facilities in Botswana, South Africa and Namibia, was also one of the pilot participants in De Beers’ Tracr blockchain initiative. “We are excited and humbled to have the opportunity to unlock the unparalleled beauty of these rare and extraordinary natural diamonds and share them with the world,” said Paul Rowley, executive vice president of diamond trading at De Beers. “Cullinan has produced some of the most beautiful diamonds the world has ever seen, and these blue diamonds are no exception.” De Beers and Diacore will select expert craftsmen to study and work with the diamonds before presenting them to the public, De Beers added.
De Beers previously owned the Cullinan mine. It sold the deposit to Petra for $149 million in 2007.