A Christian pastor in Sierra Leone has discovered one of the world’s largest uncut diamonds.
The 709-carat stone was found by Emmanuel Momoh in the Kono district. He handed it to to a local chief who then passed it on to Sierra Leone’s president Ernest Bai Koroma.
The diamond is now locked up in the country’s central bank in the capital Freetown.
A statement from the president thanked the chief and his people for not smuggling the diamond out of the country. He said he understood the importance of selling such a diamond in the country as it will “clearly” benefit the country as a whole.
The government plans to auction the precious stone and said the selling process would be “transparent”.
The diamond has not yet been valued but it is the biggest diamond to be found in Sierra Leone since 1972, when the 969-carat Star of Sierra Leone was dug up. It is believed to be the 13th largest diamond ever found.