A SOUTH African mining company yesterday claimed to have discovered the world's biggest diamond, twice the size of the current biggest known stone, the Cullinan
. Brett Jolly, a spokesman for the company, Two Point Five Construction, said the rough diamond - reportedly
a 7,000-carat stone about the size of a coconut - had been transported under tight security to Johannesburg and deposited in a bank vault Mr Jolly, in a local radio interview, said he was now consulting with lawyers about future steps concerning the diamond.
The Cullinan, which was discovered in South Africa more than 100 years ago, became part of Britain's Crown Jewels.
Before anything else happens, in the country's strictly controlled diamond mining industry, the stone will have to be examined by the South African Diamond Board, which registers all diamonds, to confirm its authenticity and that it was found at a licensed diamond mining site.
In the north-west of the country, where Two Point Five operates, hundreds of small diamond prospecting companies are registered. It is illegal to attempt to sell stones other than from registered sites and both the Diamond Board and the government's Ministry of Minerals and Energy have to register stones and give permission for export. It would also be subjected to the Kimberley Process, a system aimed at controlling the sale of "blood diamonds" used to finance Africa's many wars.
Tom Tweedy, a spokesman for De Beers, the world's biggest diamond company, said that if the find were genuine it would be "the stone of the century". However, he said photographs of the "diamond" show it to be light green in colour, which while possible is very rare. "I have my doubts that it is real," Mr Tweedy added. Various diamond industry spokesmen said that while the precise site of the find had yet to be revealed, it was standard practice not to do so with a potentially very valuable diamond for security reasons.
It is also common for the owner of a big find to keep details under wraps initially for the purposes of increasing buyer interest. "If it is what it is, it's very, very rare," said Les Milner, a gem scientist with the Jewellery Council Laboratories, the umbrella organisation of South Africa's precious stones trade. "I tend to be very sceptical about this kind of thing."
But Mr Milner added that photographs show it has the typical octahedral shape of a diamond.
Now the topic of biggest diamonds has come up, so, let us see some other biggest ones. Following are some well known names of biggest diamonds