Diavik unearths North America's biggest-ever diamond
The NWT's Diavik diamond mine has unveiled what it claims is the largest-ever diamond found in North America.
A 552-carat yellow diamond was discovered at the mine in October, Dominion Diamond Mines – which owns 40 percent of Diavik – said in a news release on Friday.
The diamond, which measures around 3cm by 5.5cm, has been compared in size to a chicken egg.
"A diamond of this size is completely unexpected for this part of the world and marks a true milestone for diamond mining in North America," the company claimed.
Diavik held the previous record for a North American diamond at 187.7 carats – the so-called 'Foxfire' diamond recovered in 2015.
Thursday's announcement, Dominion said, "far surpasses" Foxfire.
The value of the diamond has not yet been determined, though Foxfire eventually produced two smaller diamonds, reportedly sold together at auction for more than $2 million earlier this month.
This latest diamond will not be sold in its rough form.
"Due to the significance of the discovery, Dominion will select a partner in the coming weeks who will cut and polish the stone," read the company's statement.
"The size and highly technical nature of this stone means that only a handful of master cutters in the world are qualified to polish it, ensuring that the stone’s beauty, colour, and
brilliance are maximized."
A diamond of that size remaining intact at Diavik, the company added, was 'remarkable'.
Friday's announcement of the diamond's discovery was usefully timed for Dominion, coming a week after it could have overshadowed the sale of gems derived from its predecessor Foxfire, and days after the departure of Dominion chief executive Patrick Evans was confirmed.