Broken Shard of Second-Biggest Diamond Sells for $17.5 Million

  • Lucara sells 373.7 carat gem that broke from 1,109 carat stone
  • The miner has unearthed some of the world’s biggest stones

When you’re selling your offcuts for almost $20 million, you know something is going right.

Lucara Diamond Corp. just sold a 373.7-carat diamond for $17.5 million. For a company that has been unearthing some of the world’s biggest and most expensive stones in the past few years that may sound less impressive, until you realize it’s a broken shard from the second-biggest diamond ever found.

The Lucara Diamond Corp. 373.7 carat diamond, right.

Photographer: Donald Woodrow/Lucara

Lucara sold the stone as part of its $54.8 million special diamond sale that consisted of 15 large and high value diamonds, the company said in a statement Friday.

The diamond was a very large chip broken off the 1,109-carat diamond the company found in 2015. Named the Lesedi la Rona, or “our light” in the Tswana language spoken in Botswana where it was found, it was the biggest diamond found in more than 100 years. The diamond went unsold at a Sotheby’s auction last year when the highest bid of $61 million didn’t clear the reserve price, leaving Lucara to retain the stone.

The massive diamonds were unearthed at Lucara’s Karowe mine in Botswana. The Vancouver-based company sold an 813-carat diamond for $63 million in last year, a record, to Dubai-based rough-diamond trading company Nemesis International DMCC.

That stone sold for about $77,500 a carat, while the 373.7-carat diamond sold for about $47,000 a carat.

The Lesedi la Rona, just smaller than a tennis ball, is second in size only to the Cullinan, a 3,106-carat gem found near Pretoria, South Africa in 1905. It was cut to form the Great Star of Africa and the Lesser Star of Africa, which are set in the Crown Jewels of Britain.

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