The largest ever pink rough diamond has been uncovered at Rio Tinto’s Argyle diamond mine.
The 12.76 carat diamond will be cut and polished as a single stone by Richard How Kim Kam, who has worked for the miner for more than twenty years.
Kam began work on the diamond yesterday, after spending the past two months planning the cut, and will take nearly a fortnight to carry out the task.
"This rare diamond is generating incredible excitement. A diamond of this calibre is unprecedented – it has taken 26 years of Argyle production to unearth this stone and we may never see one like this again.
The individual who gets to wear this remarkable pink diamond will be incredibly lucky indeed," Argyle pink diamonds manager Josephine Johnson stated, according to Diamond News.
She went on to say that it is unprecedented in the company’s history.
"It has taken 26 years of Argyle production to unearth this stone and we may never see one like this again."
While a price has not been set on the diamond, according to Johnson pink diamonds typically outperform white diamond prices and have been known to cost up to $1 million per carat.
One of the miner’s previous high quality pink diamonds, the Argyle Mystra, was only 2.02 carats.
The find comes only two years after Rio announced it would invest US$803 million into the development of the mine.
Rio made a decision in 2005 to transform the project from an open-pit operation, which commenced in 1985, to an underground mine with production of nine million tonnes a year by 2013.
The company estimates this will extend the mine lifespan to at least 2019.