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Namakwa’s Orange Diamond Rivals Halle Berry’s Oscar ‘Pumpkin’

Namakwa Diamonds Ltd., a miner of the gems in southern Africa, unearthed an “exceptionally rare” orange diamond at its mine in South Africa.

The 7.53 carat “vivid orange” diamond will be sold in Johannesburg this month, London-based Namakwa said in a statement today. The company also discovered a 26.74 carat diamond. Both stones have “flawless potential” it said.

“Perhaps the most famous vivid orange diamond is the 5.54ct ‘Pumpkin Diamond’ of Harry Winston worn by Halle Berry at the 2002 Oscars,” Namakwa said in the statement. The U.S. movie star won the Oscar for best actress at the event.

Prices of rough, or unpolished, diamonds soared this year, returning to levels last seen in June 2008, after producers such as De Beers cut output, gem dealers rebuilt stockpiles and demand rebounded. Prices have risen as much as 91 percent from a six-year low in early 2009, data compiled by WWW International Diamond Consultants Ltd. show. A carat is a fifth of a gram.

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