FREETOWN, Sierra Leone – Media in Sierra Leone report that a 709-carat diamond found in the country's eastern Kono District has been taken by a sales team from the National Minerals Agency to Antwerp, Belgium.
The diamond's discovery in March caused a sensation and is the second-largest ever found in this West African nation. The gem, a bit smaller than a hockey puck, is among the 20 largest diamonds ever found.
The sales team, including Pastor Emmanuel Momoh who dug up the stone, arrived in Belgium Monday and will meet sales agents, auction houses and potential buyers.
The highest bid of $7.7 million was turned down in Freetown in May. No other bidders met the government's undisclosed reserve price, so the diamond will now be sold by international tender in Belgium.