Pastor Emmanuel Momoh has unearthed a 706-carat diamond in Sierra Leone's Kono district. One of thousands who seek their fortunes in the informal mining sector that dominates the diamond-rich Kono region, the Christian pastor found what is considered to be one of the world’s 20 largest rough gems. 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.|
The 706-carat diamond was presented to President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma who vowed the stone would be sold in a competitive and open process. Between 1991 and 2002, Kono was at the center of the “blood diamond” trade that funded the country’s brutal civil war as rebel groups exchanged gems for weapons.