Emmanuel Momoh pastors an evangelical church in the village of Yakadu in the Kono region of Sierra Leone, a small country located along the Western coast of Africa. Found in the eastern part of the country, the province of Kono is famous for its diamonds.
When he isn’t serving as a pastor, Momoh also works a small artisan mine where he recently found the 706-carat diamond, slightly smaller than a hockey puck. According to experts, it is very unusual for diamonds of any significant quality to be found in these smaller mines, much less one of this size.
Yet to be fully evaluated, it is expected the diamond is worth upwards of $50 million — a 813-carat diamond recently sold for $63 million. There is hint of a possible flaw in the diamond that could affect its value.
If its size holds true, it could potentially be the tenth largest diamond ever found in the world.
Perhaps the most stunning part of the story is Pastor Momoh’s decision to turn it over to the government instead of trying to smuggle it out of the country. Shortly after handing it over, he expressed his hope money from the sale of the diamond would be used to benefit the people of Sierra Leone.
In the past, Sierra Leone was rocked by ‘blood stone’ diamonds being illicitly sold to fund the country’s bloody civil war.
After receiving the diamond, President Ernest Bai Koroma issued a news release thanking “the chief and his people for not smuggling the diamond out of the country.” In an interview with AP, Koroma called the diamond “a gift from God.”
Though Sierra Leone is nearly 80% Muslim, Koroma and his wife are Christians.
The president added that Pastor Momoh and the area will be properly rewarded and the whole country would benefit from the discovery.
With a population of seven million people, Sierra Leone was bludgeoned by a bloody civil war during the 90s. Funded by ‘blood diamonds’ rebels destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure including schools.
Since his election in 2007, President Koroma has instituted a number of legitimate reforms to rebuild the country including a crack down on corruption that resulted in the prosecution of ministers in his government found guilty of corruption.
The president has promised transparency on the sale of the diamond.
36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:36 NASV)
- Sierra Leone pastor finds huge diamond in Kono: BBC News
- Christian pastor discovers a giant 706-carat diamond in Sierra Leone which could be the 10th largest ever found and worth more than 50 million pounds: The Daily Mail
- Sierra Leone pastors discovers 706 carat diamond in village: Fox News