Giant diamond auction fails as Sierra Leone rejects offer

  • May 13, 2017

The 706-carat gem is the second largest ever discovered in the West African country and was unearthed in March in the eastern Kono region by a Christian pastor who gave it to the government to handle the sale.

The chief auctioneer and head of the National Minerals Agency, Sahr Wonday told a packed room that the bid was below the government’s reserve amount.

“I regret to inform you however that none of the bids submitted here today matched the government of Sierra Leone’s reserve amount,” he said.

Five bids were handed to auctioneers in a sealed brown envelope, ranging from $2 million to $7.8 million.

The top bid, made by Ziad al-Ahmadi on behalf of Belgium diamond dealer Ray Diam BVBA, was rejected.

Chief auctioneer and head of the National Minerals Agency, Sahr Wonday told a packed room that the bid was below the government’s reserve amount.

Wonday said the government now hopes to get more for the stone at an international auction in either Antwerp, Belgium or Tel Aviv in Israel.

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