Sierra Leone’s peace diamond
Remember my article on November 9th? There I mentioned to you that in Sierra Leone a diamond of incredible dimensions had been found, I told you the anecdote of who found it and the hope that a stone of these characteristics, when sold “in white” and not being illegally removed from the country could help Sierra Leone, considered the poorest country in the world, to alleviate part of its poverty… you can click here and read the whole article.
And now comes the news that the government of Sierra Leone has effectively managed to sell the stone (among the 15 largest rough diamonds in the world) at auction in New York for $6.53 million dollars.
Expectations were much higher regarding the outcome of the auction. In the first polls barely made public the news of the discovery of the 709-karat diamond, there was speculation of the diamond garnering 69 million dollars! So much so that the government rejected the $7.3 million bid at the previous auction.
Sierra Leone’s peace diamond and its benefit for its people
Half of the proceeds, $3.8 million, will be used in infrastructure projects to improve the living conditions of the village of Koryardu, where the gem was found, including water supply, electricity, streets, medical services and the construction and maintenance of schools.
Sierra Leone Peace Diamond Find strengthens relations between artisanal miners and government
Let us bear in mind that this is one of the rare cases, in which a finding of this nature is declared to the government and commercialized in absolute transparency. This was due to the efforts of Emmanuel Momoh, the artisanal miner who discovered the gem. The humble man of the cloth decided against the trend, ignoring those who advised him to remove it illegally from Sierra Leone. He instead chose to present it to the government so that the stone could be marketed transparently for the benefit of all.
Following the discovery of the Sierra Leone Peace Diamond, it is hoped that the relationship between the government and artisanal miners will now be reaffirmed.