De Beers, Diacore buy ‘Letlapa Tala’ blue diamonds for US$40m

jewellerynet– The Letlapa Tala Collection of five blue diamonds, weighing 85.6 carats in total, was acquired by De Beers Group and Diacore through a partnership for US$40.36 million, revealed Petra Diamonds Ltd.

Sold as a suite of stones following a competitive tender process, the blue diamonds of exceptional colour, clarity and size came from the legendary Cullinan mine in Africa.

Richard Duffy, chief executive of Petra, commented, “The result of this special tender affirms the very high value placed on blue diamonds, which are undoubtedly one of nature’s rarest treasures. We believe this to be the first time that five rough blue diamonds of significant size, colour and clarity have been offered for sale at one time and we are delighted that the collection has been bought in its entirety.”

The Letlapa Tala Collection consists of five Type IIB blue diamonds of 25.75, 21.25, 17.57, 11.42 and 9.61 carats in size. Type II diamonds contain no detectable nitrogen in their chemical structure and tend to display exceptional transparency. Type IIB stones contain a small amount of boron, which is what determines their blue colour.

Letlapa Tala means “blue rock” in Northern Sotho (commonly known as Pedi), the predominant language spoken in the Cullinan area.

“Blue diamonds are so rare that most people working in the diamond industry have never even seen one. There are no official statistics on their recovery, so it is therefore even more unusual that these five spectacular stones were all recovered within the space of one week’s production in September 2020,” revealed Petra Diamonds.

The Cullinan mine is known as the world’s most important source of blue diamonds, as well as being the source of many other historic and magnificent stones, including the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond, which was cut to form the 530-carat Great Star of Africa and the 317-carat Second Star of Africa – the two largest diamonds in the British Crown Jewels.

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