1,111 Carat Gem: Massive Diamond Unearthed In Botswana Is World’s Second Largest

A 1,111 carat gem was recently unearthed, and the massive diamond is said to be the world’s second largest diamond ever. The diamond, which is nearly the size of a tennis ball, was recovered in Botswana by Lucara Diamond Corp. The company issued a press release on Wednesday regarding the magnificent discovery.

“This historic diamond recovery puts Lucara and the Karowe mine amongst a select number of truly exceptional diamond producers,” said William Lamb, President and CEO of Lucara. “The significance of the recovery of a gem quality stone larger than 1,000 carats, the largest for more than a century and the continued recovery of high quality stones from the south lobe, cannot be overstated. Our focus on mining the south lobe, which is delivering value beyond expectation, has been perfectly timed with the commissioning of our recent plant modifications, enabling the recovery of these large, high quality exceptional diamonds.”

A statement by the Canadian company explained that the 1,111 carat gem originated from the Karowe Mine, which is a newly constructed state-of-the-art mine that was fully commissioned in 2012 in Botswana, a landlocked country in southern Africa. The company also announced today that two additional white diamonds, an 813 carat stone and a 374 carat stone, were also recovered from the prolific south lobe of Lucara’s Karowe mine. According to the Wall Street Journal, Botswana, along with southern African neighbors South Africa and Namibia, is one of the biggest producers of mined diamonds.

“I am truly at a loss for words,” Lamb wrote. “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.”

The stone measures 65 by 56 by 40 millimeters in size, and is of IIa category that makes up only one or two percent of all natural diamonds in the world. It is only surpassed in size by the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond, which was mined in the South African mining town of the same name in 1905 and was cut to form the Great Star of Africa and the Lesser Star of Africa, which are the Crown Jewels of Britain.

If you are wondering how much this 1,111 carat gem is worth and still have not found the answer to your question, it is because putting a price on the diamond is difficult because several factors come into play. The Guardian wrote that while the value of diamonds shoots up with size, the number of potential buyers falls. The buyer of the Lucara diamond could be a syndicate.

It’s almost impossible to estimate the value of such an extraordinary stone, since it depends on the color, clarity, and the characteristics of its carved and polished state. However, Kieron Hodgson, a commodities and mining analyst, said it had “the potential to be one very expensive diamond.”

“Valuation will depend on potential inclusions, how it would behave in cutting, optimal shape as well as final colour,” Hodgson explained.”All these things will need to be evaluated prior to bidding.”

But for comparison sakes, Lucara sold a 341.9-carat Type-IIa diamond in July for $20.6 million, or $60,000 a carat. If this figure is to be applied to the 1,111 carat gem that was just unearthed, that means it could be sold for $66 million, roughly.

“The end-buyer will likely be an ultra-ultra high-net-worth diamond collector,” said Martin Potts, a London-based mining analyst at FinnCap Ltd. “There will be huge prestige in owning the largest diamond that’s not part of a royal collection.”

[Image via Lucara Diamond Corp./Facebook]