The pastor who found one of the world’s largest uncut diamonds says he expects to get “not less than $50 million” for the 709-carat precious stone, after it failed to reach its minimum reserve price at auction in Sierra Leone today, AFP news agency reports.
“I want my diamond to be sold abroad so I can get the best price to enable many people to benefit from the proceeds,” Pastor Emmanuel Momoh told AFP.
Today’s highest bid, for $7.8m, came from a UK citizen based in Antwerp, the European diamond capital in Belgium, where the next auction is expected to take place in the next few weeks.
The reserve price, which is the minimum amount that the diamond can be sold for and was set by the Sierra Leonean government, is a secret.
Last May, diamond-mining firm Lucara sold a 813-carat stone for $63m (£51m) at a closed auction in London.