Despite the hype world’s second-largest diamond ever found fails to sell

A three-billion-year-old diamond the size of a tennis ball found by Canada's Lucara Diamond (TSX:LUC) last year failed to sell at a Sotheby's auction in London on Wednesday as bids fell short of the minimum reserve price.

Shares in the Vancouver-based miner collapsed on the news and were trading more than 16% down in Toronto at 3:50 pm ET.

Despite the hype world’s second-largest diamond ever found fails to sell

Image courtesy of Lucara Diamond.

Lucara said it will keep the massive 1,109-carat stone, which was expected to go for at least $70 million, but the highest bid was around $61 million only.

The diamond, known as “Lesedi La Rona” or "our light" (in the Tswana language spoken in Botswana), was unearthed in November at Lucara’s Karowe mine.

Despite the hype world’s second-largest diamond ever found fails to sell

Image courtesy of Lucara Diamond.

It is a type IIa diamond, the largest discovered in 100 years, and second in size only to the Cullinan diamond in the British Crown jewels.

Botswana is the world's largest producer of diamonds and the trade has transformed it into a middle-income nation.