For over 100 years, the Cullinan diamond has been the worlds biggest diamond ever found (a whopping 3,106cts), with the second biggest diamond ever being the Excelsior diamond, found in South Africa in 1893. Weighing in at 995cts, the Excelsior was ultimately cut into 10 diamonds, ranging in size from 13 – 68cts.

Now, in a historical moment, Lucara Diamonds have announced the recovery of the second biggest diamond ever, from their Karowe Mine in Botswana. With a weight of 1,111cts, this Type IIa diamond is now officially the world’s second largest gem quality diamond ever recovered and the largest diamond ever to be recovered through a modern processing facility.

As President and CEO of Lucara Diamonds, William Lamb, said in a press release, “The significance of the recovery of a gem quality stone larger than 1,000 carats, the largest for more than a century, cannot be overstated”. Measuring 65mm x 56mm x 40mm, this truly historical diamond is likely to break all previous sales records.

No diamond of this size has been recovered and sold during the modern diamond tender process, so it is virtually impossible to estimate the potential value of this diamond. For comparison, Petra Diamonds sold a 507ct diamond for $35.3million in 2010, but as diamond prices increase exponentially with size, the asking price for this diamond will be significantly more.

Previously owned by De Beers, the Karowe Mine produces less than 1% of the world’s diamonds, but is believed to produce more than half of the world’s diamonds larger than 100cts in size.

Following the announcement of recovery of the 1,111ct diamond on the 18th November, Lucara Diamonds today announced the recovery of another two significantly sized diamonds, an 813ct and a 374ct stone. The final weight on these two diamonds may change, as they have not yet been cleaned. The 813ct diamond could be the 6th largest gem quality diamond ever found.

Lamb has further since commented, “I am truly at a loss for words. This has been an amazing week for Lucara with the recovery of the second largest and also the sixth largest gem quality diamonds ever mined. We are truly blessed by this amazing asset.”

Photo credit: Lucara Diamond

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