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Finally, the world's largest round diamond is sold
10 October 2017
In November 2015, the diamond industry was abuzz as Lucara Diamond Corporation announced the discovery of the second largest rough diamond ever. Weighing in at 1,109cts, the Lesedi La Rona (meaning “Our Light” in the local language Tswana) was the first diamond found in a remarkable week of large diamond finds at the Karowe diamond mine in Botswana.
Industry experts were unsure of the value of the diamond; after all, it was the biggest diamond found in over 100 years. The Lesedi La Rona was put on auction by Sotheby’s in July 2016 following the successful sale of the 813ct Constellation diamond for $63million (the Constellation was found in the same week as the Lesedi La Rona). However, unlike the Consellation, the world’s second largest rough diamond failed to sell after the $70 million reserve price was not met.
Now, over a year after the failed auction and almost two years after the diamond was discovered, the Lesedi La Rona finally has a new owner. Graff Diamonds acquired the diamond earlier this week for $53million, far less than Lucara Diamond Corporation had hoped for.
Graff already bought a fragment of the Lesedi La Rona rough earlier this year for $17.5million. The smaller 374-carat diamond was originally part of the larger, but broke off during extraction. Graff described the new purchase as enabling a "poignant reunion" of the two pieces.
"Our highly skilled team of master craftsmen will draw on many years of experience of crafting the most important diamonds, working night and day to ensure that we do justice to this remarkable gift from Mother Nature," founder Laurence Graff said in a statement. "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."