It is not yet certified – and does not yet have a name. But a 1,098 carat diamond found in Botswana seems likely to be recorded as the third largest such gemstone ever discovered, after the Cullinan Diamond found outside Pretoria in 1905, and the Lesedi La Rona, found in Botswana in 2015.
The stone, the size of a child’s fist, was presented to the government of Botswana this week by Debswana, the joint-venture company between the government of Botswana and the South African diamond company De Beers.
The stone was at first classed with a pile of valueless rocks that had been due to be discarded, said Debswana. Now the proceeds from its sale has been promised to the people by a government that has described it as symbolic, and hopefully a sign of things to come as its mining sector expands and tools up with sophisticated equipment.
The Cullinan was cut into nine large stones, and 97 “small brilliants”, which form part of the British crown jewels.
The rough Lesedi La Rona sold for $53 million, or just under $48,000 per carat in 2017, which suggests the new stone could be worth in the region of R740 million.
The rough stone was cut into the 302.37 carat Graff Lesedi La Rona over 18 months, making it the world’s largest square emerald cut diamond.