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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Biggest diamond in 100 years finally sells for a knock-down $53m

The Lesedi La Rona, or “our light” in the Tswana language spoken in Botswana, went unsold at a Sotheby’s auction in London last year

The 1109 carat 'Lesedi La Rona' diamond at Sotheby's in the Manhattan.Lucas Jackson/Reuters
The 1109 carat 'Lesedi La Rona' diamond at Sotheby's in the Manhattan.Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Lucara Diamond finally sold the biggest diamond found in more than a century.

The 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona diamond was sold for US$53 million, or $47,777 a carat, to Graff Diamonds, Lucara said.

The Lesedi La Rona, or “our light” in the Tswana language spoken in Botswana, went unsold at a Sotheby’s auction in London last year. It had been expected to sell for about $86 million.

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The Vancouver-based company, known for producing some of the world’s biggest and best stones, unearthed the diamond at its Karowe mine in Botswana. In May 2016, Lucara sold the smaller 813-carat The Constellation diamond for a record $63m, or about $77,500 a carat, to Dubai-based rough-diamond trading company Nemesis International DMCC.

The statement was released after the close of regular trading in Toronto, where Lucara fell 1.7 per cent to C$2.30. The shares have declined 24 per cent this year.

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