This past August, Lucapa Diamond Co. introduced the 170.2-carat Lulo Rose as the largest pink diamond discovered in the past 300 years. Pundits favorably compared the chemically pure, Type IIa, specimen from the Lulo alluvial diamond mine in Angola to some of the most heralded pink diamonds of all time, including the oval-shaped CTF Pink Star, a 59.6-carat gem that sold for a record $71 million in 2017.
It was speculated that the 170-plus-carat rough gem might be cut into a finished stone weighing upwards of 70 carats and challenge the CTF Pink Star's record for the highest price ever paid for a pink diamond, or any gemstone for that matter.
On Tuesday, Sodiam E.P., the Angolan State Diamond Marketing Company, successfully sold the Lulo Rose at an international tender, but failed to disclose the price or the new owner.
Instead, Sodiam reported that the Lulo Rose was one of seven "specials" from the Lulo mine that collectively realized a total of $20.4 million. We also learned that the total weight of all seven rough stones was 767 carats, which put the average price per carat at $26,536.
It's safe to say that if all the gems were of similar size and quality, the 170.2-carat Lulo Rose would have accounted for at least $4.5 million of the tender revenue. But due to its historic size and fancy color, the Lulo Rose likely warranted a premium. The other diamonds in the tender were described as white Type IIa diamonds, three of which topped 100 carats.
When pressed about the Lulo Rose's selling price, a spokesperson for Lucapa told IDEX Online that it didn't provide details for individual stones.
According to Lucapa and its partners, Endiama E.P. and Rosas & Petalas, the historical pink diamond is the fifth largest diamond discovered at Lulo. At the time of its discovery, it was the 27th 100-plus-carat diamond recovered at the site. In September, Lucapa announced that its tally of 100-plus-carat diamonds had grown to 30.
The Lulo Rose is unique because it is an alluvial diamond — a diamond eroded over eons from its primary source and discovered in a secondary location. Since the discovery of alluvial diamonds at Lulo in 2015, geologists have continued to seek the kimberlite pipes that would have been the primary source of these spectacular stones.
Earlier this year, Lucapa reported that it had discovered 24 new kimberlites at Lulo, bringing the total number to 133. Kimberlite exploration is conducted by the Lulo partners through the separate Projecto Lulo joint venture. This exploration is designed to locate the hard-rock primary sources of the exceptional Lulo alluvial diamonds.
Credit: Image courtesy of Lucapa Diamond Co.