Sierra Leone hopes to raise millions of dollars for development projects by selling a large uncut diamond.It is believed to be one of the largest diamonds in the world.The public sale will take place in New York in December.
The 709-carat gemstone is known as the Peace Diamond.This will be the second time Sierra Leone tries to sell the diamond.The government rejected the highest bid of $7.8 million at its first public sale in New York in May.
More than half of the earnings from the sale will be used for water, electricity,education and health projects in Sierra Leone, especially to aid Koryardu. That is the eastern village where the diamond was found.
Martin Rapaport is chairman of Rapaport Group, an organization of diamond companies which will manage the sale.He told Reuters, There’s a reason God gave these diamonds to the poorest people in the world and made the richest people want them…this is making the world a better place.
The Rapaport Group described the diamond as the 14th largest in the world.A Christian clergyman discovered it in March and gave it to the government.
Diamonds were a conflict resource in Sierra Leone’s 10-year civil war, which ended in 2002.Rebels would buy weapons with earnings from diamond sales.This led to the creation of the term ‘blood diamond.’
I’m Jonathan Evans.