29 September 2017

Botswana: Lucara Announces Sale of 1,109 Carat Lesedi La Rona for $53 Million

Photo: Lucara
(File photo).

La Rona, the biggest diamond unearthed in Botswana and the largest find in more than a century, second in size only to the Cullinan diamond cut into the British Crown jewels has been sold, fetching a massive $53 million. The gem owned by Canadian company, Lucara was sold to London-based Graff Diamonds, which paid US$47,777 per carat for the diamond.

Lesedi La Rona a 1,109 carat rough diamond that Lucara Diamond unearthed two years ago at its Karowe mine in Botswana was sold this week for $53 million to London-based Graff Diamonds.

Graff Diamonds paid US$47,777 per carat for the diamond.

Lesedi La Rona is the biggest diamond unearthed in Botswana and the largest find in more than a century, second in size only to the Cullinan diamond cut into the British Crown jewels.

Commenting on the transaction, Laurence Graff said in a press release "We are thrilled and honoured to become the new custodians of this incredible 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. This is a momentous day in my career, and I am privileged to be given the opportunity to honour the magnificent natural beauty of the Lesedi La Rona".

Read: Sierra Leone pastor unearths one of the world's largest diamonds

William Lamb, President and CEO of Lucara 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. We took our time to find a buyer who would take the diamond through its next stage of evolution".

"The price paid is also an improvement on the highest bid received at the Sotheby's auction in June 2016. Graff Diamonds is now the owner of the Lesedi La Rona as well as the 373 carat diamond, purchased earlier this year, which formed part of the original stone. We are excited to follow these diamonds through the next stage of their journey," Lamb said.

Lesedi La Rona last year failed to find a buyer. Bidders failed to meet the reserve price for the diamond. The gem was expected to surpass the $63m paid for the 813 carat diamond sold in May by the Canadian company, Lucara.

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