Largest Diamond Found in a Century May Fetch $70M

The largest diamond found in a century may sell for more than $70 million at Sotheby’s.

The name, “Lesedi La Rona” which means ‘Our Light,’ was given by Thembani Moitlhobogi, the winner of a $2,196 prize, according to a Lucara statement February 9.

The name, “Lesedi La Rona”, which means ‘Our Light,’ was given by Thembani Moitlhobogi, the winner of a $2,196 prize, according to a Lucara statement February 9.

The 1109-carat rough “Lesedi La Rona” will be offered in a stand-alone auction in London on June 29, and will first go on show at Sotheby’s New York on May 7.

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The diamond was unearthed in November in Botswana at a mine owned by Canada’s Lucara Diamond Corporation. It measured 1,109 carats, the second-largest gem-quality rough diamond ever discovered. Its name means “our light” in the Tswana language of southern Africa.

Not only is the rough superlative in size and quality, but no rough even remotely of this scale has ever been offered before at public auction

Not only is the rough superlative in size and quality, but no rough even remotely of this scale has ever been offered before at public auction.

The largest diamond ever found was the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond, unearthed in South Africa in 1905. It was cut into nine pieces that form part of the U.K. Crown Jewels.

The auctioneer said the rough gemstone “of exceptional transparency” could yield the largest top-quality diamond ever cut and polished.

David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby’s jewelry division, called the discovery “the find of a lifetime” and the auction unprecedented.

Diamond fans can see the Lesedi la Rona at Sotheby’s New York on May 7, and at Sotheby’s London from June 18 through 28, before the auction commences on June 29.

Photos: Sotheby’s

Sotheby's recent auction brought in $52M which included $4.3 million for the highest-profile lot, a Van Cleef & Arpels diamond necklace worn by the late Queen Nazli of Egypt.

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