Australia’s Lucapa Diamond (ASX: LOM) has recovered a rare 170-carat pink diamond at its prolific Lulo mine, believed to be the largest of its kind found in Angola in the last 300 years.
The massive pink stone named the “Lulo Rose” will be sold later this year through an international tender conducted by Angolan state-owned diamond trading firm Sodiam.
Lucapa has a 40% stake in the Lulo mine, which hosts the world’s highest dollar-per-carat alluvial diamonds. The rest is held by Angola’s national diamond company (Endiama) and Rosas & Petalas, a private entity.
The partners have now recovered 27 stones exceeding 100 cartas, with the Lulo Rose the fifth largest, regardless of its colour, found at the mine.
“Lulo is an exceptional alluvial resource and is truly a gift,” Lucapa’s managing director Stephen Wetherall said in a statement. “We are once again made very proud by yet another historic recovery.”
In 2016, the operation yielded the largest ever diamond recovered in Angola — a 404-carat white stone later named the “4th February Stone.”
Angola is the world’s fifth diamond producer by value and no.6 by volume. Its industry, which began a century ago under Portuguese colonial rule, is successfully being liberalized.
Coloured diamonds have repeatedly set record-setting prices in recent years as they are rarer than white ones. While they come in many hues, pink and blue are the most coveted.
In 2017, Sotheby’s sold the oval-cut 59.6-carat “Pink Star” in Hong Kong for US$71.2 million. The piece originated from a 132.5-carat rough mined by De Beers in 1999.
The De Beers’ Cullinan blue diamond fetched close to US$58 million at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong in April. Prices for pink diamonds are expected to climb further, following Rio Tinto’s closure in 2020 of its iconic Argyle mine. The operation was the world’s biggest diamond mine and the main global source of high-quality pink gems.