After more than a century since the find of the world’s biggest diamond ‘Cullinan’, a 3,106 carats stone, Canada based Lucara Diamond Corporation has made a historic find of the world’s second biggest diamond – a 1,111 carats high quality gem.
The rare Type IIa diamond measuring 65mm X 56mm X 40mm and weighing nearly 227 grams was recovered from Lucara’s Karowe mine in Botswana. While Cullinan, found in 1905 in Pretoria, South Africa, originally weighed 3,106.75 carats, it was later cut into several stones including 9 large ones. The biggest among which, Cullinan I also known as ‘Great Star of Africa’ weighs 530.4 carats and is mounted on the Royal Scepter, part of British’s Crown Jewels, on display at Tower of London. Cullinan is also a Type IIa diamond, devoid of any nitrogen or boron impurities.
The 1,111 carat diamond recovered by Lucara is the biggest find ever in Botswana and the world’s biggest find in last 100 years. Interestingly, Lucara deployed X-ray transmission technology – Large Diamond Recovery (LDR) XRT machines at its Karowe mine last year, which has helped the company to find other big diamonds recently. Lucara also mined two exceptional white (colorless) diamonds – a 813 carat and a 374 carat stones recently from its Karowe mine.
Though the world’s second biggest diamond is yet to be evaluated, Lucara’s another 341.9 carat Type IIa diamond was sold in July at USD 20.6 million – USD 60,000 a carat, indicating that Lucara’s recent historic find may carry extraordinary valuations. Other big diamonds have also fetched multi-million dollar prices at recent auctions. However, before putting a price on the 1,111 carat diamond, it will probably have to be taken to Antwerp for ascertaining in a bigger scanner.
In spite of 26% losses this year, on the momentous news, Lucara’s shares soared 37%, adding around USD 150 million to its valuation. At a recent exceptional stone tender, the Canadian miner also sold a total 1,440 carats of diamonds for USD 29.7 million. When the African diamond industry is struggling to survive, Lucara’s unprecedented find has got the diamond mining industry excited.