Diamonds worth $18 mn sold by Russian state firm

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Russia’s State Precious Metals and Gems Repository has auctioned 572 large-size raw diamonds for $17.87 million, a finance ministry official 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 kg),” the official said.

“If all participants of the auction pay the bidding price, we will fulfill our sales plan for this year by 250 percent,” he 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