KINSHASA: A 114.63 carat diamond from the Democratic Republic of Congo failed to find a buyer after its mining company owner set up the auction to cover payroll, a union leader said today.
The outcome prompted some in the industry to wonder whether the large stone had major defects or was not fully crystallised.
Dieudonne Kabamba, a union vice-president at the Miba diamond mining company said Miba announced it put the diamond up for auction to cover late payroll and adjust other wages that had been cut by two-thirds over the last few years.
The uncut diamond, which weighs 23 grams (0.8 ounces), went under the hammer earlier this month for $1 million (750,000 euros) but was withdrawn after failing to find a buyer for $480,000, the UN-backed Radio Okapi said.
Other diamonds sold at the auction in the central mining town of Mbuji Mayi, bringing in a total of $28,200, the station said.