The government of Sierra Leone thinks that one of its citizens is a real gem.
Pastor Emmanuel Momoh found a 706-carat diamond but decided to give it to authorities to help development in the West African country.
The diamond from Sierra Leone’s Kono region is about the size of a hockey puck, and the government, which thanked Momoh for not smuggling it out of the country, plans to auction it.
Analyst Mathew Nyaungwa told the BBC that it is the 13th largest diamond ever found, though it is unclear how much it is worth before it is cut.
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray handles a 706-carat diamond.
President Ernest Bai Koroma said that Momoh would get “what is due” to him after the country receives its millions.
The world’s most expensive diamond, found in Botswana, was 813 carats and sold for $ 63 million last year.
The clergyman found the stone near the village of Yakadu while supplementing his income by freelance mining, a practice many take up in Sierra Leone.
Pastor Emmanuel Momoh discovered the diamond while working as a freelance miner.
Diamonds from the country, wracked by a long-running civil war, were banned from export until 2003, though the country is expected to export more than $ 100 million in the jewels this year.
Momoh’s diamond is believed to be the largest diamond found in Sierra Leone since the 968-carat “Star of Sierra Leone,” which sold for $ 2.5 million in 1972.
With News Wire Services