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552-carat diamond unearthed at Diavik

Dominion Diamond Mines announced it has recovered the largest known gem-quality diamond ever found in North America.

The 552.74-carat diamond was unearthed at Diavik Diamond Mine in October, and broke the previous record of 187.7-carat Diavik Foxfire diamond, which was recovered at the same mine in 2015.

Photo courtesy of Dominion Diamond Mines. This 552-karat diamond was unearthed at Diavik Diamond Mine in October.

The U.K.-based Rio Tinto mining group owns a 60 per cent interest in and operates the mine, while Dominion Diamond owns 40 per cent.

"Measuring 33.74mm x 54.56mm and weighing exactly 552.74 carats, 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 and Canadamark diamonds overall," a news release from Dominion Diamond stated.

Because the diamond is still undergoing evaluation, the ultimate value of the stone has yet to be determined.

But after polishing, the much smaller Diavik Foxfire yielded two brilliant-cut pear shape gems that were recently purchased for $1.3 million.

Dominion will be selecting a partner in the coming weeks to cut and polish the stone.

"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, color and
brilliance are maximized," the news release stated.