This extremely rare $25.6 million blue diamond may reveal Earth’s origins

This extremely rare $25.6 million blue diamond may reveal Earth’s origins

Screenshot via YouTube

An exceptionally rare 12-carat cushion-cut aqua blue diamond, known as the “Blue Moon,” will go on public display in three weeks' time in Los Angeles, California.

Found in South Africa’s Cullinan mine in January by Petra Diamonds (LON:PDL), the stone was cut down from around 30 carats by diamond-maker Cora International, and it is now valued at $25.6 million.

This extremely rare $25.6 million blue diamond may reveal Earth’s origins

Petra Diamond's CEO Johan Dippenaar holding the exceptional 29.6-carat blue diamond recovered in January 2014.

What makes this diamond quite unique is its colour saturation and shade, combined by an amazing clarity, which granted it the grading of “fancy vivid” with an “internally flawless” clarity by the Gemological Institute of America.

When exposed to ultra-violet light, blue diamonds usually let off a blue-green glow for short lengths of time. The Blue Moon, instead, emitted an orangey-red phosphorescent glow for about 20 seconds after being bathed in ultra-violet light, Forbes reports.

This extremely rare $25.6 million blue diamond may reveal Earth’s origins

Screenshot via YouTube

The precious gem's extra-special qualities don’t stop there. The Blue Moon is expected to be able to provide clues about the forces at play deep within the Earth when the diamond was created at least a billion years ago, the curator of the National Gem and Mineral Collection at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, told Bloomberg earlier this month.

Colour boom

Coloured diamonds are the world’s most expensive stones. A 14.82-carat orange diamond sold for $36 million at Christie’s International in Geneva in November, setting a record $2.4 million a carat. The same month, Sotheby’s sold the Pink Dream, a 59.6-carat pink stone, for $83 million.

The Cullinan mine, located at the foothills of the Magaliesberg mountain range, is renowned for producing large blue diamonds and is the site of the discovery of the world's largest gem 109 years ago.

The world's biggest certified diamond is the 3,106-carat Cullinan, found at the mine near Pretoria in 1905. It was cut to form the Great Star of Africa and the Lesser Star of Africa, set in the Crown Jewels of Britain.