[AFP/ AP] Emmanuel A. Momoh, a pastor and an artisanal miner from Eastern Sierra Leone has unearthed a 706-carat diamond. US-based diamond expert Paul Zimnisky told AFP that once the gem’s quality was assessed it could rank “between the 10th and 15th largest gem-diamonds ever recovered.” The freelance miner working in the Kono District, a rich diamond area operated by tribal authorities has turned it over to the government, saying he hopes it helps to boost recent development in his impoverished nation. The pastor told the Associated Press that he turned in the diamond because he was touched by the development being undertaken in Kono. The president expressed appreciation that there was no attempt to smuggle the gem out of the country, encouraged others to emulate the pastor’s example and assured that the selling process would be transparent and to the highest bidder. Th president added: «A gift from God, and it will be a terrible thing if anyone tries to do something criminal with it.» The diamond has not yet been valued but could be worth millions of dollars. In 1972, the 968.9-carat Star of Sierra Leone was found by miners in the same area and sold for about 2.5 million dollars (£2 million).