When we are talking about diamonds, the most important information is without doubts the price. The world’s largest blue diamond ever to come to auction, at 15.10 carats, the De Beers Cullinan Blue, extracted by Petral Diamonds in South Africa’s Cullinan mine in 2021, has sold for $57.5 million (£39million), at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong. It was categorized as “fancy vivid blue,” which has been awarded to no more than 1% of blue diamonds submitted to the organization. ‘Blue diamonds of any kind are rare on the market, but this is the rarest of the rare; nothing of remotely similar calibre has appeared at auction in recent years,’ Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, said in the press statement. The stone was sold after seven minutes of bidding. Only five blue diamonds over 10 carats had ever been auctioned before today.
The Cullinan mine is the source of the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found. The diamond mining industry has played a significant role in the historical and industrial development of South Africa. A thing to know is that many diamond miners work in extremely dangerous conditions and are grossly underpaid. There are still major safety hazards like collapsing tunnels, falling rocks, toxic fumes, high temperatures and intensive noise. The work of children in the diamond mines is not the only issue. However diamond mining has a role to play in the development of human resources (training) and infrastructure such as schools, clinics, roads and housing.