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.
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.
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.