Sierra Leone pastor unearths one of the 20 largest diamonds ever found

A Christian pastor has unearthed a 706-carat diamond in Sierra Leone's Kono district, which is considered to be one of the world’s 20 largest rough precious rocks ever found.

The diamond, whose value cannot be determined until its quality is assessed, is now locked up in the West African country's central bank in Freetown, Anadolu Agency reported.

Pastor Emmanuel Momoh's discovery is the biggest diamond to be found in Sierra Leone since 1972, when the 969-carat Star of Sierra Leone was dug up by miners. It is also one of the largest diamonds unearthed in recent years at mines in southern Africa, behind Lucara Diamond’s (TSX:LUC) 1,111-carat rock found in Botswana in 2015.

Between 1991 and 2002, Kono was at the centre of the “blood diamond” trade that funded the country’s brutal civil war as rebel groups exchanged gems for weapons.