The world’s second-biggest diamond – the largest gem discovered in a century – has finally found a buyer, after failing to sell at a Sotheby’s auction last year.
Vancouver-based Lucara Diamond Corp sold the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona diamond for $53 million last week to London-based luxury jeweler Graff Diamonds, which essentially paid $47,777 per carat.
Lucara had found the huge diamond in Botswana’s Karowe mine nearly two years ago. Its name, Lesedi La Rona, means “Our Light” in Botswana’s Tswana language.
The Canadian diamond company had originally hoped to see the massive gem fetch at least $70 million. Lucara CEO William Lamb told CNN that the price Graff paid had topped the highest bid received in the Sotheby’s auction last year.
Still, the sale falls short of the $63 million Lucara’s smaller, 813-carat Constellation uncut diamond fetched in auction last year (about $77,500 a carat), proving that even when it comes to diamonds, bigger is not necessarily better.
“If you take the potential outcomes from the stone into consideration, the risk that the buyer is actually taking, you can now see why it wasn’t the easiest one to sell,” Lamb told the Bloomberg news agency.
Graff Diamonds has a long history of striking multimillion-dollar deals for unique precious stones in. In 2006, it bought the 603-carat uncut Lesotho Promise diamond at an auction in Belgium for $12.4 million.
According to the report, the only larger diamond previously unearthed was the 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond, discovered in South Africa in 1905. The Cullinan was eventually cut into smaller diamonds, some of which are now part of British Crown Jewels.