On Wednesday, July 27, 2022, a 170-carat pink diamond, also known as the “Lulo Rose” was discovered by the Lulo miners in Angola’s diamond-rich northeastern region. The Lulo Rose is believed to be the largest diamond to have been discovered in the last three hundred years. The diamond is in the ownership of the Lucapa Diamond company, an Australia based company that owns the Lulo mines as well as other mines in both Angola and Lesotho.
The Angolan government, which is also a partner in the mine, commended the “historical” discovery of the Type 2A diamond, which is one of the rarest and purest varieties of natural stones . According to Angola’s Minister of Mineral Resources, Diamantino Azevedo, the record-breaking and magnificent pink diamond discovered in Lulo continues to highlight Angola as a major player on the global precious stone scene.
The Lulo mine has discovered two of the largest diamonds in the world. The other is the 404-carat clear diamond which was discovered in 2016, Angola is the sixth largest producer of diamonds worldwide and the third largest in Africa. However, these positions are bound to change soon considering this most recent discovery as well as the fact that the country still has about three hundred million carats worth of untapped precious stones to be mined.
According to the Lucapa Diamond Company-, the Lulo Rose is one of the five largest diamonds to ever be discovered where twenty-seven diamonds weighing one hundred carats or more have been found. In an interview with The Associated Press News Agency, Lucapa CEO Stephen Wetherall, said, “Only one in 10,000 diamonds is colored pink. So, you are certainly looking at a scarce article when you find a huge pink diamond.”
The Lulo Rose still needs to be cut and polished in order to be valued at what it is truly worth, a process that can cause a stone to lose 50% of its weight. The diamond will likely then be sold at a spectacular price in an international tender by the Angolan State Diamond Marketing Company, Sodiam. Similar diamonds have been sold at record-breaking prices. The Pink Star diamond, weighing in at 59.6 carats was bought for 71.2 million USD at an auction in Hong Kong in 2017. Until now, that diamond was thought to be the most expensive diamond.
Diamonds are most frequently found in colors ranging from white to brown to yellow, which is why pink diamonds are so rare and expensive. The rarer and more valuable the stone, the more intense the natural color is or, in the case of white diamonds, the lack of color. For example, the most expensive diamonds on the market are certified genuine Fancy Vivid pink diamonds, which cost between $30,000 and $100,000 USD per carat, or twenty times as much as a white diamond. One location in Australia, the Argyle Mine, is where the majority of pink diamonds are mined. The minimal supply of Argyle Pink Diamonds is the reason they are so expensive. .
How are Diamonds formed?
In general, the hardest known naturally occurring materials on the earth are known to be formed from carbon. They naturally form more than one hundred miles down in the earth’s core, where they are compressed and heated to extremely hot temperatures, approximately 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit. They are also heated under immense pressure – tens of millions of times greater than atmospheric pressure. Over millions of years, they remain constant in that environment before cooling to their solid state, which is what we see today. The same process is used to generate pink diamonds, although they can only be found in a few locations worldwide.
While the interaction between light and impurities like nitrogen (yellow) and boron (blue) are responsible for the colors of the majority of colorful diamonds, the cause of the pink diamond’s color has remained a mystery. So far, no impurity associated with light has been discovered in the diamond.
There are many speculations as to what the source of the pink diamond’s color could be. Some experts believe that the unusual color is thought to result from the intense pressure the stones underwent beneath the Earth’s surface throughout time rather than any specific complex element. Others believe that the pink diamond’s color may be caused by a deformation in the diamond’s crystal lattice. Although Type I diamonds make up most of all diamonds, Type IIa and Type IIb diamonds are scarce and include the rarer and more expensive pink diamonds.
The discovery of the “Lulo Rose” has created excitement for the hunt for more. Lucapa is in search of kimberlite pipes, which are the primary source of the precious diamonds. This will spur more commitment and investment in the diamond company as there could be more of these rare diamonds where The Lulo Rose was found.
But more important than the race to discover the source of the most precious of stones is the race to unravel the source of the earth. While Astrophysicists look to the stars to answer the questions of the earth’s origin, many scientists are looking to the elements closest to the earth’s core to find those answers.