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Diavik unearths North America's biggest-ever diamond

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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.

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"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.

Diamond discovered at Diavik
The diamond has been compared to the size of a chicken egg. Photo: Dominion Diamond Mines

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.

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"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.