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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Life-size diamond ball adds sparkle to FIFA World Cup in South Africa

A South African jeweler has unveiled a 20 million rand (267,000 U.S. dollar) life-sized sized World Cup football to commemorate the FIFA World Cup which kicks off in Johannesburg on Friday.

The ball is made up of 6,620 white and 2,640 black round brilliant cut South African diamonds giving a total weight of 3,500 carats.

Jeweller Yair Shimansky told Business Day newspaper in Johannesburg ball "was not designed for any goal kicking practice."

The diamond encrusted ball weighs about 2.2 kg.

Shimansky said he is in talks with a European soccer club about selling the World Cup ball to them as a 2010 commemorative display piece for their club.

His seven national stores will each exhibit an exact crystal replica of the ball in their windows for the duration of the World Cup, which runs from June 11 to July 11. After the World Club is concluded each replica will be auctioned with the proceeds being given to each regional store's chosen charity.

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