The second-largest gem-quality diamond ever discovered, just cost someone $53 million.
In a deal announced Tuesday, London-based jeweler Laurence Graff bought the Lesedi La Rona diamond, which was found in Botswana in 2015. The seller was the Canadian Lucara Diamond Corporation, which owns the mine.
In a statement, Graff said the deal “was closed with a handshake after more than a year of negotiations.”
The gem, which is just smaller than a tennis ball and weighs in at 1,109 carats, went up for auction at Sotheby’s last year but failed to meet its $70 million reserve price.
the stone is the largest gem-quality rough diamond to have been found this century, with the largest ever found being the 3,107-carat Cullinan Diamond, which was discovered in 1905 in South Africa. The largest cut gem from the Cullinan is the 530-carat Great Star of Africa, which sits on one of the Crown Jewels belonging to the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II.
Lesedi La Rona means “our light” in the local Botswana language.
The stone was first formed between 2.5 to three billion years ago and is roughly the size of a tennis ball.
The diamond has been certified as being of "exceptional quality and transparency" by the Gemological Institute of America
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