The biggest diamond to be unearthed in over a century has been found by the Lucara Diamond Corporation in Botswana.
The 1,111 carat diamond is just smaller than a tennis ball but has a value “impossible to estimate” according to experts at BMO Capitals Market. It is second in size only to the Cullinan diamond, a 3,000 carat diamond that was eventually cut into the British Crown Jewels.
The value of diamonds is highly dependent on factors including size, colour and quality of polished stones, so it is hard to estimate how much the diamond may sell for. In 2012, a 158 carat diamond was valued at over £1m.
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Diamonds are usually purchased by a group of investors or jewellers who then decide how best to profitably cut, mount and distribute the diamonds. The Cullinan diamond was cut into nine gemstones — one of which is now mounted in the Crown Jewels — and 96 smaller gems.
The diamond is likely to be bought by a high-end diamond collector. Just last week, Hong Kong businessman Joseph Lau spent a record $77m (£50m) on two diamonds for his seven year old daughter. This record is in stark contrast to the rest of the diamond industry.
The Financial Times describes the diamond trade as being “in turmoil”, with large miners such as De Beers “struggling to place expected volumes of stones”.
William Lamb, CEO of Lucara described the diamond as “exceptional” and “beyond expectation”.
“The significance of the recovery of a gem quality stone larger than 1,000 carats cannot be overstated,” he said.