A pastor from Sierra Leone has donated a massive 709-carat diamond that he found earlier this year so that the monies from its sale can be used to provide medical supplies and clean water to his community.
Pastor Emmanuel Momoh found the diamond last March and has, since the start, said that he would use funds from the massive stone — dubbed “The Peace Diamond” — to help bring relief to his people.
The gem was recently purchased by Graff Diamonds for $6.5 million, according to Forbes.
Graff purchased the 709-carat 'Peace Diamond" for $6.5 million. All proceeds will benefit the country, village and community where the diamond was found: https://t.co/x2ZFKDgXX7 pic.twitter.com/hcbd7eVrFe
— ForbesLife (@ForbesLife) December 13, 2017
And that money will come in handy for a community that lacks many basic needs and structures.
“[It] will greatly improve the lives of our people as it will bring clean water, electricity, schools, medical facilities, bridges and roads to our villages and the Kono District,” Momoh said in a statement.
Momoh gave the diamond to Sierra Leone’s president, Ernest Bai Koroma, earlier this year and the leader subsequently led a competitive auction process that eventually sparked Graff Diamonds’ decision to buy it. The president has referred to the diamond as “a gift from God.”
In the end, 59 percent of the proceeds will go to the government of Sierra Leone, 15 percent will go to the Diamond Area Community Development Fund and 26 percent will go to the diggers who found it, Forbes reported.
The Peace Dimond is the second largest diamond ever to be found in Sierra Leone. A larger 969-carat diamond was found in the country back in 1972, the BBC reported.
Diamonds have a deep history in Sierra Leone, as the stones reportedly contributed to the country’s infamous civil war and were temporarily banned from being exported until 2003, when the United Nations lifted that restriction.