“Only one in 10,000 diamonds is colored pink. So you’re certainly looking at a very rare article when you find a very large pink diamond,” Stephen Wetherall, CEO of the Lucapa Diamond Company, told The Associated Press.
The diamond got its name because it was found in the Lulo mine, owned by Lucapa. Lulo is an alluvial mine, meaning miners find stones in the riverbed. Lucapa hopes to locate kimberlite pipes, underground deposits that are the main source of diamonds.
“We’re looking for the kimberlite pipes that brought these diamonds to the surface,” Wetherall said. “When you find these high-value large diamonds… it certainly elevates the excitement from our perspective in our hunt for the primary source.”
Because if there’s a diamond that large and valuable, what else might be found in the kimberlite pipes of this southwestern African country?
While the Lulo Rose is gigantic for a pink diamond, many clear diamonds come in even more jumbo sizes. For example, the Cullinan diamond, discovered in South Africa in 1905, weighs in at 3,106 carats. It adorns Queen Elizabeth’s scepter.
Unfortunately, the diamond biz in Angola isn’t all glitter. Thousands of small-scale miners throng the Cuango Basin, having God knows what effects on the river ecosystem. Mining disturbs the aquatic life, birds and wild animals, and doesn’t do much to improve the water quality. In some cases, miners displace former inhabitants, and people fight over land and diamonds.
But at least since 1975 Angola is no longer a Portuguese colony. As the authors of a study on the environmental impacts of alluvial diamond mining noted, “Before independence, Indigenous people were not allowed to possess diamonds; those caught with diamonds were executed.”
Diamonds are beautiful, shiny stones. Unfortunately, they’re linked to greed and the willingness to destroy anything that comes between you and the glittery life a big diamond promises.
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