Lucara Diamond has recovered yet another massive diamond in Botswana, at a site previously owned by giant De Beers.
In 2016, Lucara sold the most expensive rough gem on record, the 813-carat Constellation, for $63 million. Although smaller than the near tennis-ball sized Lesedi, The Constellation earned a higher price per carat because of its superior quality.
Brown-colored diamonds command significantly lower prices in world markets — typically $4 000 to $7 000 per carat — but the unusual size of this one means it will need to be valued differently, Thomas said. Some manufacturers may actually choose to accentuate the color through polishing, while others may look to change it through heat treatment, she said. “They tend to command a lot of interest because there are a variety of views on what can be done with stones of that color.”
So far this year, Lucara has found 218 diamonds of more than 10.8 carats at the mine, including four stones of more than 100 carats each, the company said in a statement Thursday. While the very largest stones add volatility to Lucara’s quarterly revenue numbers, the company is consistently reaching an annualized average value of $600 to $650 per carat, and expects that to continue over the life of the open pit, Thomas said.
The biggest diamond ever discovered is the 3 106-carat Cullinan, found near Pretoria in South Africa in 1905. It was cut into several polished gems, the two largest of which — the Great Star of Africa and the Lesser Star of Africa — are set in the Crown Jewels of Britain.
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