Botswana’s biggest diamond and second biggest in the world sold for US$53 million
Recovered from Karowe mine in November 2015, the famous 1 109 carats Lesedi La Rona diamond that got its name from a P25 000 national naming competition, has finally been acquired by London based British multinational jeweller, Graff Diamonds.
Previously auctioned at Sotheby’s in a private auction conducted solely for the stone on 29th June 2016, Lucara and the Auctioneer had expected to get $150 million in a bid that started at $50 million and went as far as P61 million in the 15 minutes of the sale.
The gem was never sold and this week it was sold privately to the British diamond design, manufacturer and retail distributor.
Lucara Diamond Corporation sold the precious stone at $47,777 per carat.
A communiqué from Lucara diamonds states that Graff Diamonds are proud to be the new custodians of the diamond.
“The stone will tell us its story, it will dictate how it wants to be cut, and we will take the utmost care to respect its exceptional properties,” reads the statement that continues that the company welcomes the opportunity to honour the magnificent natural beauty of the Lesedi La Rona diamond.
In the same statement, Lucara President and Chief executive Officer, William Lamb, said the discovery of the Lesedi La Rona was a company-defining event for Lucara.
“It solidified the amazing potential and rareness of the diamonds recovered at the Karowe mine,” he said adding that they took their time to find a buyer who would take the diamond through its next stage of evolution.
Graff Diamonds, now the proud owner of the Lesedi La Rona, also owns a 373-carat diamond, purchased earlier this year, which formed part of the original stone.
The Lesedi La Rona is a colourless/ white type II diamond weighing 1 111 carats and measures 65 mm× 56 mm × 40 mm.
The diamond was mined using Large Diamond Recovery (“LDR”) XRT machines and is the largest diamond recovered using machines for automated diamond sorting and is estimated to be over 2.5 billion years old.
Since the AK6 pipe, where Lesedi La Rona was found, was opened 18 months earlier and has yielded over 1,000,000 carats (200 kg) of diamonds.