Sotheby’s to Auction 1,109 Carat Lesedi la Rona Diamond

The gem-quality rough diamond is expected to earn more than $70 million

Sotheby’s will auction the Lesedi la Rona, a 1,109 ct. gem-quality rough diamond, at a stand-alone auction in London on June 29.

It was unearthed by Lucara Diamond Corp. in November 2015 at its Karowe mine in Botswana. The name Lesedi la Rona means “our light” in the Tswana language of the country.

“The Lesedi la Rona is simply outstanding and its discovery is the find of a lifetime,” said David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery Division, in a statement. “It is a huge honor for Sotheby’s to have been entrusted with its sale. Every aspect of this auction is unprecedented. 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 stone is currently the largest rough diamond in existence and is the largest diamond to be discovered since the 3,106.75 ct. Cullinan Diamond was discovered in South Africa in 1905.

“We are very excited to be partnering with Sotheby’s on this landmark auction,” said William Lamb, president and CEO of Lucara Diamond Corp., in a statement. “Lucara has made innovation the cornerstone of its development strategy, and this has led to the historic recovery of the Lesedi la Rona diamond. The forthcoming sale presents a unique opportunity to present this extraordinary diamond to a worldwide audience.” 

The diamond will be on view at Sotheby’s New York on May 7 and at Sotheby’s London June 18–28.

(Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s)

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