A now famous three-billion-year-old diamond the size of a tennis ball found by Canada’s Lucara Diamond (TSX:LUC) last year could fetch more than US$70 million (or about Cdn$90M) when it goes under Sotheby’s hammer this summer.
The giant 1,109-carat rock, known as “Lesedi La Rona” or “our light” (in the Tswana language spoken in Botswana), was unearthed in November at Lucara’s Karowe Mine. It is currently on a world tour ahead of the auction in London on June 29.
“We’re trying to get access to people who may want it as a collector’s item,” William Lamb, CEO of Vancouver-based miner, told Canadian Press. “We’re looking at people who have the financial resources, but also see the uniqueness, the rarity and the beauty in the stone.”
Lesedi La Rona 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.
Christie’s — a major rival to Sotheby’s — will auction the world’s largest natural fancy vivid green diamond in Hong Kong on May 31. The 5.03-carat rectangular-cut diamond is expected to sell for between $16 million and $20 million.