95-carat diamond sells; breaks company record

An independent diamond analyst estimates the diamond sold for between US $2.5 to $3 million. He also said the selling price is a good sign for the mine.

Mountain Province Diamonds won't release selling price because it could 'disadvantage the buyers'

A diamond analyst estimates this diamond sold for US $2.5 to $3 million. (Submitted by Reid Mackie)

A diamond dealer in the Northwest Territories has set a new company record — Mountain Province Diamonds has sold a diamond for almost three times the previous highest price it's ever gotten for a single gem.

The 95-carat diamond was unearthed at the Gahcho Kue mine in May. It was sold on June 22 in an online diamond auction.

Mountain Province Diamonds owns 49 per cent of the Gahcho Kue mine, which is located 280 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife.

The company has been selling diamonds for more than a year. This diamond is one of the more exceptional finds to date, said Reid Mackie, vice-president of marketing for Mountain Province Diamonds.

The buyer's name hasn't been released, but Mackie said it was sold to a large gem-quality diamond specialist based in Belgium.

Reid Mackie, vice-president of marketing for Mountain Province Diamonds, said the diamond is of exceptional quality, making it more valuable. (Submitted by Reid Mackie)

The diamond was sold for almost triple the price of the previous highest-value diamond from the company.

But the selling price is not being released because it would "disadvantage the buyers," said Mackie.

Mountain Province Diamonds has sold larger diamonds than this before, but they sold for less money because they've been lower quality diamonds, said Mackie.

He said the 95-carat diamond is about the size of a cherry or a large grape, and it has no visible cracks or inclusions, making it very high-quality.

"To be hitting 95-carats so early on in the production bodes well for the remaining years ahead," said Mackie.

"When you bring a stone like this to the market, it create quite a bit of attention and it starts to develop a rough brand name within the international rough diamond market."

The 95-carat diamond is high quality, with no visible cracks or inclusions. (Submitted by Reid Mackie)

Paul Zimnisky, an independent diamond analyst in New York, agrees the sale is a good sign for the mine.

"I think this is the first indication that there are better higher quality diamonds in the ground there," said Zimnisky, adding as the mine digs deeper into the ore body, more diamonds of this size and quality will likely be found.

Zimnisky estimates the 95-carat diamond sold for about US $2.5 to $3 million dollars. He based this estimate on the selling prices for similar diamonds.

He said diamond prices were down last year, but he is seeing the market bounce back. This year he's seen a four-to-five per cent increase in diamond prices.