Less than a week after a Botswana mine unearthed a 1,098 ct. diamond—likely the third largest piece of gem-quality rough ever found—Lucara has found an even bigger rock (pictured), weighing 1,174.76 cts.
The mega-stone was found in Lucara Diamond’s 100% owned Karowe mine, which is also in Botswana.
However, like the 1,758 ct. Sewelô, which Lucara found in 2019, this new find is not considered 100% gem, but a “clivage gem of variable quality with significant domains of high-quality white gem material,” according to a company statement.
So it’s possible that Debswana—the De Beers–Botswana government joint venture that produced last week’s big rock—may still be able to call its recent find the “third largest gem-quality diamond” ever found. But the record books are getting mighty crowded.
Lucara’s new 1,174 ct. gem measures 77 millimeters by 55 millimeters by 33 millimeters. It is the third 1,000-plus ct. diamond to emerge from Karowe in recent years, ever since Lucara adopted new technology that prevents jumbo-size stones from getting crushed before excavation.
In addition to the Sewelô, in 2015 Karowe produced the 1,109 ct. Lesedi la Rona, which is considered the second largest piece of gem-quality rough ever discovered. The reigning champ remains the 3,106.75 ct. Cullinan, which was discovered in South Africa in 1905.
Karowe, located in the Botswana village of Letlhakane, has gained a reputation for producing big stones: This year alone, it produced 17 diamonds greater than 100 cts., including 5 diamonds greater than 300 cts.
Lucara has a deal to sell all the diamonds it finds over 10 cts. to HB Antwerp.
In a statement, Lucara CEO Eira Thomas said that “although complex, these diamond recoveries do contain large domains of top color white gem that will be transformed through our partnership with HB Antwerp into valuable collections of top color polished diamonds, very much in high demand in the market today.”
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