MOSCOW, April 23 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s State Precious Metals and Gems Repository auctioned 572 large-size raw diamonds for $17.87 million on Tuesday, a Finance Ministry source said.
The open domestic auction included a total of 709 diamonds weighing over 10.8 carats (2.16 grams) and attracted 38 diamond-cutting firms.
“It was the first auction this year, with 709 individual lots offered [with total weight of 11,592 carats or 2.32 kilograms],” the source said.
“If all participants of the auction pay the bidding price, we will fulfill our sales plan for this year by 250 percent,” the official said.
At a similar auction in March 2012, the repository sold 525 raw diamonds weighing 12,056 carats (2.41 kg) for over $26 million.
Russia is believed to have the largest diamond deposits in the world. The principal producer regions are Yakutia, also known as the Sakha Republic, Perm and Arkhangelsk.