Largest diamond found in North America on display in New York

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(FOX 5 NY/Robert Moses)

The largest diamond discovered in North America is now dazzling New York City.

Miners at Dominion Diamond Mines in northwest Canada found the 552.7-carat stone in October about 60 feet below the surface. It has existed for an estimated 3.1 billion years.

"The earth is 4.5 billion years old," James Pounds of Dominion Diamond Mines said. "This has been waiting for a long, long time for us to discover it."

Earth created it. Man could've easily destroyed it during the violent mining process.

"This beautiful piece came out both undamaged and unbroken," Pounds said. "Fantastic."

This week, the stone, which is worth millions, arrived at the Gemological Institute of America in Midtown for analysis.

"The point of all this is to see what kinds of defects are in the diamond at the atomic scale," Evan Smith, a research scientist at GIA, told Fox 5. "It gives us a better idea of what gives the diamond its color and what makes it unique."

He added that the stone's size posed a challenge.

"Some of our instruments are a little bit too small to accept something quite so large as this," Smith said. "So we do have to adapt."

Besides its sheer beauty, the diamond excites Smith for another reason: he's Canadian.

"There's certainly a sense of patriotism when you pick up a stone like this," he said.

I was lucky enough to do just that. You'll just be able to look when the stone goes on display from Thursday through Sunday at Phillips Auctions. It is a rare chance to see one of nature's miracles.