Petra to sell blue diamonds recovered at Cullinan

A 20.08-carat Type IIb blue diamond recovered at Cullinan.

Petra Diamonds (LON: PDL) announced the launching of a special tender process for the Letlapa Tala Collection, which comprises five blue diamonds sourced from the Cullinan mine in South Africa. 

Cullinan is known as the world’s most important source of blue diamonds, as well as being the place of birth of the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond, which was cut to form the 530-carat Great Star of Africa and the 317-carat Second Star of Africa, being the two largest diamonds in the British Crown Jewels.

In a press release, Petra said that the name of the new collection actually means ‘blue rock’ in Northern Sotho (commonly known as Pedi), the predominant language spoken in the Cullinan area.


The collection consists of five Type IIb blue diamonds of 25.75, 21.25, 17.57, 11.42 and 9.61 carats, respectively. Type II diamonds contain no detectable nitrogen in their chemical structure and tend to display exceptional transparency. Type IIb stones contain a small amount of boron, which is what determines their blue colour.

“Blue diamonds are so rare that most people working in the diamond industry have never even seen one,” the media release states. “There are no official statistics on their recovery, so it is therefore even more unusual that these five spectacular stones were all recovered within the space of one week’s production in September 2020.”

According to Petra, this is likely to be the first time that five blue rough diamonds have ever been offered for sale at one time, with buyers being offered the chance to bid either on individual stones, more than one, or for the entire collection.

The Letlapa Tala gems will be available for viewings in Antwerp from October 25 to November 1; Hong Kong from November 5  to November 10; and New York from November 16 to November 20, 2020.


Petra Diamonds H1 Production Up, but Revenue Down

Petra blue rough diamond

Petra Diamonds Limited has announced that while its production for the six months ended December 2019 was up 3 percent to 2,070,240 carats (H1 FY 2019: 2,019,147 carats), revenue for the same period was down 6 percent. Revenue fell to $193.9 million from 1,743,807 carats (H1 FY 2019: $207.1 million from 1,736,357 carats).

The decline in revenue comes from lower diamond prices and the adverse product mix at Finsch and Williamson. This was, however, partially offset by the sale of the 20.08-carat blue diamond from Cullinan for $14.9 million.

The company is currently on track to meet or exceed its FY 2020 production guidance of ca. 3.8 Mcts.

In addition, Petra said it saw growing stability in pricing as the calendar year closed and that demand has continued to improve as the midstream looks to replenish inventory with early indications that rough pricing has improved modestly in the third quarter of 2020. .

Petra reported that its net debt as of December 31, 2019 stood at $596.4 million 

(September 30, 2019: $592.8 million). It also reported a diamond inventory of 992,425 carats valued at $85.2 million compared to $92.4 million for September 30, 2019.

Source: IDEX

Petra finds 20.08-carat blue diamond at flagship Cullinan mine

Petra 20.08 carat blue diamond

South Africa’s Petra Diamond has found yet another big rock at its iconic Cullinan mine, one of the many coloured diamonds it has unearthed at the operation this year.

The exceptional 20.08 carat blue gem quality diamond Type IIb demonstrates that Cullinan remains a significant source of rare blue diamonds, and confirms the ability of the mine’s plant to recover the full spectrum of precious stones, Petra said.

In April this year, the company found a 424.89 carat exceptional D colour Type IIa diamond at the same mine. The stone was sold the next month for just under $15 million.

In 2015, Petra sold “The Blue Moon of Josephine”, a 29.6 carat blue diamond, for $48.5 million, marking a world record price per carat at auction for any diamond at the time.