Discovered in the northern Arkhangelsk region of Russia at Alrosa’s Karpinskaya-1 pip, which is operated by the company’s subsidiary Severalmaz, the rare gem is an especially exciting find for this year’s FIFA World Cup host country and Alrosa.
Just as the 2018 FIFA World Cup excitement hits fever pitch, Russian diamond miner Alrosa (MCX:ALRS) has unearthed a diamond ironically shaped and colored like a small soccer ball.
Discovered in the northern Arkhangelsk Region of Russia at Alrosa’s Karpinskaya-1 pipe which is operated by the company’s subsidiary Severalmaz, the rare gem is an especially exciting find for the host country and Alrosa.
“Despite its small size, this is a unique find. Nature creates a variety of bizarre forms, but we met the diamond in the form of a soccer ball for the first time. We hope that this is a good sign on the eve of the performance of the Russian national team in the quarterfinals,” Sergey Ivanov, Alrosa’s general director said in a press release.
The unique soccer-esque gem was discovered just ahead of Russia’s match with Croatia, prompting Igor Orlov, the governor of Arkhangelsk Region, to suggest the stone be named in honor of Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.
Alrosa, one of the world’s largest diamond producers is an official sponsor of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which kicked off on June 14 and runs until July 15, 2018.
In late June, keeping with the soccer theme, the leading diamond miner unveiled a collection of 32 diamonds representing each country participating in this year’s World Cup. The collection features high-quality round, D to F color and VVS2 to IF clarity diamonds all weighing 0.3 carats.
“Russia produces one-third of all rough diamonds in the world and is famous for its polished diamonds, which are yet another symbol of our country,” Pavel Vinikhin, Alrosa’s director of Diamonds said in a June press release. “We decided to provide the fans with the opportunity to take a tiny piece of Russia with them or to mark national teams and symbolic victories important for them not only with football anthems, but also with a unique diamond that will remain with them forever.”
In addition to introducing the 2018 FIFA World Cup collection, Alrosa also launched a contest for fans to name a 76.53 carat rough stone. Football fanatics are invited to submit their most soccer sounding name to the Alrosa website. According to the company statement, the winner will receive tickets to the final match, as well as a certificate outlining the extraction of the gem and noting the diamond is named after his or her idea.
All 33 diamonds are available for purchase and were brought to auction in Moscow on June 25. Alrosa will announce the name of the winner and the sales tallies for the diamonds on July 30.
“The collections of stones have been selected so that they are affordable for a wide range of fans,” said Vinikhin. “Optionally, we can form sets from them.”
Alrosa shares were up slightly on Monday (July 9), closing at $105.40 rubbles.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.