A 1,098-carat stone, believed to be the world’s third largest gem quality diamond, has been unearthed in Botswana.
The diamond was discovered last June 1st in the South Kimberlite pipe of the Jwaneng mine, which is around 75 miles from the country’s capital, Gaborone. The said mine is operated by diamond company Debswana, a joint venture between the government of Botswana and the South Africa diamond company De Beers. Debswana’s latest discovery is the largest gem unearthed by the company since diamonds were first found in Botswana in 1967.
On Wednesday, the diamond was presented to Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi. According to a series of tweets posted by the Botswana government, Masisi said that proceeds from the diamond will be used to advance national development in the country. The president also added that Debswana should use the latest discovery as an “inflection point” for the mine to use its technology to realize more of these large discoveries.
𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐈𝐃𝐄𝐍𝐓 𝐌𝐀𝐒𝐈𝐒𝐈 𝐂𝐎𝐌𝐌𝐄𝐍𝐃𝐒 𝐃𝐄𝐁𝐒𝐖𝐀𝐍𝐀 𝐅𝐎𝐑 𝐋𝐀𝐑𝐆𝐄𝐒𝐓 𝐃𝐈𝐒𝐂𝐎𝐕𝐄𝐑𝐘
President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has commended Debswana's recent 1,098.3 carat diamond discovery. pic.twitter.com/m2eR40KwFN
— Botswana Government (@BWGovernment) June 16, 2021
For comparison, the largest diamond ever unearthed on Earth is the 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond found in South Africa in 1905. It was reportedly cut into smaller stones, with some of it becoming part of the British royal family’s crown jewels.
the world’s second largest diamond is believed to be the Lesedi La Rona, a 1,109-carat stone discovered by Canadian firm Lucara Diamond in 2015 at the Karowe mine, which is also located in Botswana. Two years after it was found, the diamond was sold to luxury jeweler Graff for a whopping $53 million.
Depending on their color, clarity, size and shape, rough diamonds are classified as being gem-quality, near-gem, or industrial-quality. Though there’s an even larger diamond discovered in Botswana in 2019 ― a 1,758-carat stone called Sewelô ― experts said that, unlike the first three mentioned diamonds, the Sewelô could not be considered as entirely gem-quality. Despite that, the Sewelô was still bought by French luxury brand Louis Vuitton in 2020 for an undisclosed sum.