Huge rare pink diamond found in Australia

Huge rare pink diamond found in Australia

Mining giant Rio Tinto said it has unearthed a "remarkable" 12.76 carat pink diamond in Australia, the largest of the rare and precious stones ever found in the resources-rich nation.

Named the Argyle Pink Jubilee, the huge rough stone was found at Rio's pink diamond operations in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and would take 10 days to cut and polish, the miner said on Wednesday.

"This rare diamond is generating incredible excitement," said Josephine Johnson from Rio's Argyle Pink Diamonds division. "A diamond of this calibre is unprecedented — it has taken 26 years of Argyle production to unearth this stone and we may never see one like this again. "The individual who gets to wear this remarkable pink diamond will be incredibly lucky indeed."

Though it would not speculate on how much the Jubilee was worth, Rio said extremely high quality pink diamonds could fetch in excess of US $1 million per carat, meaning it is likely to go for at least $10 million. The light pink Argyle Jubilee is a similar colour to the 24-carat Williamson Pink given to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II as a wedding gift which was later set into a Cartier brooch for her coronation.

The Williamson was discovered in Tanzania in 1947 and is ranked among the finest pink diamonds in existence. It is the ninth-largest in the world. A Rio spokesman told AFP the recent discovery was named in honour of the long-reigning British monarch, who is celebrating 60 years since her accession to the throne -- her diamond jubilee.

"This is the Queen's diamond jubilee year and there is a parallel in that the Queen had a solitaire pink diamond, gifted to her — The Williamson Pink — and set in the centre of a flower brooch in the year of her coronation," he said.