Officials say a 709-carat diamond found in Sierra Leone has been sold for more than USD 6.5 million.
The diamond is said to be the 14th-largest ever discovered, according to the Rapaport Group, which auctioned the stone in New York on behalf of Sierra Leone's government.
The company says 59 per cent of the money will go to the government of the West African nation, while 26 per cent will benefit the artisanal diggers who found the diamond. Its discovery in March caused a sensation.
The Rapaport Group has dubbed the stone the "peace diamond" and says its sale "will provide vital lifesaving infrastructure to the area where the diamond was found.
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