Massive 242-carat Russian diamond heads to auction block

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    You’ll need deep pockets to bid on this bling.

    A massive 242-carat diamond is heading to the auction block next month in Dubai. The bidding starts at more than $2 million.

    Russian state-controlled diamond producer Alrosa, the world’s largest producer of rough diamonds, is offering up the gem at its 100th international auction in Dubai on March 22.

    The crystal-clear rough diamond is about the same size as a small egg, making it one of the largest stones Alrosa has mined this century, the company said.

    “Rough diamonds, which potentially allow for cutting a polished diamond larger than 100 carats, are extremely rare in nature. Even less often are such gems tendered,” Evgeny Agureev, Alrosa’s head of sales, said in a statement.

    An employee handles a rare 242-carat rough diamond.
    An employee handles a rare 242-carat rough diamond.
    REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

    The diamond was mined more than a decade ago, but under Russian law, diamonds larger than 50 carats must first be offered to the country’s state-owned repository.

    The auction comes months after an “incredibly rare” 14.8 carat purple-pink Russian stone was auctioned off for more than $26 million.

    An employee handles the rare 242-carat rough diamond.
    An employee handles the rare 242-carat rough diamond.
    REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

    Large diamonds mined in Asia still pale in size to jewels that are unearthed in Africa.

    The world’s largest diamond — a 3,106-carat Cullinan — was found in South Africa in 1905.

    With Post wires

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