The World’s second-largest gem-quality diamond has been discovered in Botswana, a Canadian company, Lucara, has said.
Lucara’s Chief Executive Officer, William Lamb, in a statement, said the 1,111-carat diamond was second in size only to the 3,106-carat one unearthed at Cullinan mine in neighbouring South Africa in 1905, was cut into British crown jewels.
The diamond, slightly smaller than a tennis ball, was recovered by machines in the Karowe mine in central Botswana.
However, experts said that it was too early to estimate the value of the diamond.
“I am truly at a loss for words; we are truly blessed by this amazing asset.
“Our focus, mining the south lobe has been perfectly timed with the commissioning of our recent plant modifications, enabling the recovery of large, high-quality exceptional diamonds,” Mr. Lamb said.
An expert in the Belgian city of Antwerp, one of the world’s main diamond trading centres, said the diamond was “of exceptional quality”.
Christopher Gemerchak from the Antwerp Diamond Jewellers Association said a diamond half that size was sold for 35 million dollars recently.
“The historic significance of the Botswana diamond as the world’s second-largest makes it difficult to evaluate how much buyers might pay for it.
“The value of the diamond also depends on factors such as possible cracks or dark spots, which need to be evaluated,’’ he added.
“Too large to be used as such, the diamond is likely to be cut into 200-carat, core diamond and other smaller ones.
“That decision will be taken by the buyer, the diamond polisher and designer,’’ Mr. Gemerchak said.
Botswana is one of Africa’s top diamond producers, with diamonds making up about 80 per cent of its export income.