Lucara announces sale of 1109-carat Lesedi La Rona

Vancouver based Lucara hits the motherlode with sale of world's second largest rough cut diamond

Vancouver based Lucara hits the motherlode with sale of world's second largest rough cut diamond

Canada's Lucara sold the diamond after recovering it almost two years ago from Botswana's Karowe mine.

The 1,109-carat stone, which is said to be 2.5 to 3 billion years old, was bought by British diamond dealer Graff Diamonds for $47,777 per carat on Monday.

Lucara originally auctioned the diamond with a reserve price of $70 million a year ago, but bids at the Sotheby's sale only reached $61 million, Fortune reports.

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It was unearthed by Canadian miner Lucara Diamond Corp almost two years ago at its Karowe mine in Botswana.

The rough stone originally failed to sell at Sotheby's in June 2016, but has now been scooped behind closed doors to the diamond billionaire for $53 million (£39.3m). "Lesedi La Rona, " translates to "Our Light" in English.

The new owner, Laurence Graff of British multi-national jeweler Graff Diamonds, said becoming the "custodian" of the diamond was the highlight of his career.

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Lesedi La Rona has been likened to a tennis ball in size and is the second largest gem-quality diamond ever discovered. "It solidified the awesome potential and rareness of the diamonds recovered at the Karowe mine", William Lamb, president and CEO of Lucara, said in a press release.

"The discovery of the Lesedi La Rona was a company defining event for Lucara", said William Lamb, president and chief executive of Lucara.

Tobias Kormind, managing director of the online retailer of diamond jewelry 77Diamonds.com, said that the sale marks an important moment for Britain's heritage in diamonds.

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In 1905, the 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond was unearthed in South Africa, only to eventually be cut into several smaller pieces.

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