The Peace Diamond A Perfect Example Of The Good That Diamonds DoDecember 07, 17
If diamonds do good, then how much good is the sale of the Peace Diamond going to do? Clearly a great deal – and not just for the people of the village of Koryardu in Sierra Leone where it was discovered in March by Pastor Emmanuel Momoh who deserves the praise of Sierra Leone for taking the diamond to the authorities.
The sale of the 709-carat diamond this week for $6.5 million this week was, frankly, somewhat disappointing. Indeed, the stone was sold for less than the offer turned down by the government in May of $7.8 million when it said it could secure fair market value for the country's diamonds elsewhere.
Some reports have suggested that since the Constellation diamond, which weighs 813 carats, was sold for $53 million, the country could have got more for the yellowish Peace Diamond. These reports were in the non-trade press, however, where knowledge of a diamond's values obtained by a cursory glance at the 4Cs is clearly less well known and appreciated.
However, such reports can cause damage by creating the impression in the mind of the general news reader that the diamond trade got the stone at a bargain price. Ironically, the exact opposite may have happened, with Graff Diamonds head Laurence Graff possibly offering more for the stone precisely because he wanted to help the people of Sierra Leone.
Nonetheless, the sale is going to definitely going to help the people of Sierra Leone, and the villagers of Koryardu in particular. Half of the proceeds will be directed towards bringing clean water, electricity, educational and medical facilities, bridges and roads to the community where the stone was discovered. About $1 million will go to help diggers in the Kono district, and the government will receive a substantial part as taxes.
In other words, the total proceeds from the diamond will go to the government and the people of the West African country. And given that Sierra Leone's total production in 2016, according to the Kimberley Process, brought in $159 million, the figure received for the Peace Diamond alone is certainly nothing to be sniffed at.
The Kono area where the stone was found was at the heart of the conflict diamonds disaster that struck the country around two decades ago. It won't help those who were killed so needlessly, but it nonetheless does help to close a circle on that terrible period with a fair part of the money received being used for such worthwhile development projects.