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Tuesday, 7 November, 2000, 12:01 GMT
The Dome's diamond attraction
The Millennium Star is one of the finest diamonds in the world
The De Beers collection of diamonds which went on display at the Millennium Dome was one of the biggest draws of the ill-fated attraction.

The set of 12 diamonds are insured to the value of 150m but De Beers say the collection, the finest that has ever gone on public display, is not for sale and is therefore priceless.

De Beers provided 2m in sponsorship for the Dome, most of which went on security for the collection.

A collection of such rarity that most of us will not see its like again

Harry Oppenheimer, De Beers

The chief attraction is the De Beers Millennium Star, widely regarded as the purest and most beautiful diamonds in the world.

It was the centrepiece of the Dome's opening night when a laser was shone through it, throwing shafts of light around the Dome

The Millennium Star was crafted from one of the biggest diamonds ever discovered.

The 777-carat stone was discovered by accident in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1990 and was later fastened into the 203-carat gem which is now on display in the Millennium Dome.

The other 11 rare blue diamonds, including the vivid blue 27.64-carat Heart of Eternity, came from the De Beers Premier Mine near Pretoria, South Africa.

Harry Oppenheimer, De Beers' retired chairman, has said the Millennium Star is the most beautiful diamond he has ever seen and described the collection as "of such rarity that most of us will not see its like again."

The diamonds were housed in the Dome's high-security Diamond Experience.

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