The government of Sierra Leone has rejected a $7.8 million bid, about N2.5 billion for a rough, egg-sized diamond stone, one of the biggest ever found, saying it failed to meet its own valuation.
The 709-carat gem is the second largest ever discovered in the country and was unearthed in March in the eastern Kono region by a Christian pastor who gave it to the government to handle the sale.
Five bids were handed to auctioneers in a sealed brown envelope, ranging from $2 million to $7.8 million. The top bid was made by a man in a white shirt and light trousers on behalf of Belgium diamond dealer Ray Diam BVBA.
“We’ve decided not to sell the diamond today because the highest bid price … does not match the government reserve price,” Sahr Wonday, chief auctioneer and head of the National Minerals Agency, told a packed room.
Reuters reports that the…
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