London — Petra Diamonds has sold a 20-carat blue gem for almost $15m, a major boost for the company that’s struggling with a mountain of debt and falling diamond prices.

The company found the diamond in September at its Cullinan mine in SA, famous for producing expensive gems including those in the British crown jewels. Blue gem-quality stones are among the most valuable in the world, and the diamond sold for $741,000 per carat...

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