The ‘life-saving’ 709 carat Peace Diamond has sold for $6.5m (£4.8m) at a New York auction on Monday 4 December, with part of the funds being used to support Sierra Leone.
The diamond was bought by British jeweller Laurence Graff, confirmed Martin Rapaport of Rapaport Group, who held the auction.
The group auctioned the diamond for free and the Peace Diamond is the third largest diamond found in Sierra Leone and the 14th largest ever found worldwide.
Some $3.8m (£2.8m) of the proceeds will fund infrastructure projects in the village Koryardu, where the diamond was found.
It will help to introduce the village’s 250,000 inhabitants to fresh water, electricity, medical care and the building of schools.
Tobias Kormind, managing director of 77Diamonds.com, said: “The Peace Diamond bought by Laurence Graff will change the world even though it hasn’t sold sell for a wildly expensive price. I hope we see much more of this integrity and vision in the global diamond industry.
“The sale of the Peace Diamond has been the most transparent process ever taken for a diamond sold from Sierra Leone and it will encourage artisanal diggers who discover diamonds in Sierra Leone to bring them to the government instead of being tempted to smuggle them.”