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706-Carat Diamond Discovered by Sierra Leone Pastor

Image: 706-Carat Diamond Discovered by Sierra Leone Pastor

In this photo taken from video footage, Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma handles a 706-carat diamond during a meeting with delegates of Kono district, where the gem was found, at the presidential office in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Thursday, March 16, 2017. (SLBC via AP)

By    |   Friday, 17 Mar 2017 05:47 AM

A Christian pastor in Sierra Leone who found a large, 706-carat diamond has turned it over to the government to help with improvements to roads and electricity in the struggling country.

Emmanuel Momoh searches for minerals to supplement his small salary, according to The Telegraph. He found the diamond in a mine in Kono and handed it over to the tribal chief, who presented it to President Ernest Bai Koroma. The government plans to auction it off for millions of dollars, but has not yet determined its exact value.

It is said to be the 13th largest uncut diamond ever to be pulled from the ground, according to industry experts. An 813-carat diamond was sold in a closed auction in London last month for 51 million pounds ($63 million), The Telegraph said.

Sierra Leone was the site of a civil war in the 1990s and early 2000s over diamonds and who would control and profit from them. Many residents there were enslaved during the war and forced to dig for diamonds.

Koroma thanked Momoh and the Kono tribal chief for not trying to smuggle the diamond out of the country. He also promised to reward Momoh and to give the mine owners their due as well, Reuters reported.

The largest diamond ever found, the Cullinan Diamond, measured 3,106 carats and was discovered in South Africa in 1905. It was later cut into multiple gems, and two of them were set into England’s Crown Jewels.

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A Christian pastor in Sierra Leone who found a large, 706-carat diamond has turned it over to the government to help with improvements to roads and electricity in the struggling country.
706, carat, diamond, pastor
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2017-47-17
Friday, 17 Mar 2017 05:47 AM
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