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ALROSA sells $23.66 million worth of diamonds

MOSCOW, July 28 (RIA Novosti) - Diamonds worth $23.7 million were sold at the 9th international auction for special-sized diamonds, which opened Wednesday, the press service of ALROSA, Russia's major diamond miner, said today.

The auction, arranged by ALROSA in collaboration with the Russian Diamond Chamber, was attended by representatives from 42 Russian and foreign gem companies from Israel, Belgium, India, Japan, China, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, and Belarus.

A hundred and four boxes (749 gems) weighing a total of 12,800 carats, including 10 extra-large gems over 50 carats, were put up for auction. The largest diamond in the auction weighed 121.96 carats.

"Two other international auctions are still to be held by the end of this year. The presentation of diamonds to be sold will start on August 22, and on September 22 the results will be summed up," the company's press release said.

ALROSA, one of the world's largest diamond producers, accounts for an estimated 20% of the global diamond output. The company produced $2.1 billion worth of diamonds and $130.4 million worth of brilliants in 2004.

The Russian Ministry of Property has a 37% stake in ALROSA, while the Ministry of State Property Management of the Republic of Sakha holds a 32% stake, and the company's staff, 23%. Eight Yakutian regions own 8% of the company's shares.

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