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1,111-Carat Diamond Dubbed ‘Lesedi La Rona’
Lucara announced the stone’s new name, which means “Our Light” in Setswana, on Tuesday after holding a naming competition open to all citizens of Botswana.
Vancouver, B.C.--The 1,111-carat diamond that Lucara Diamond Corp. uncovered in November has been named “Lesedi La Rona,” which means “Our Light” in Setswana.
Lucara launched a competition to choose a name for the diamond on Jan. 18 and announced the winning moniker on Tuesday. The contest was open to all Botswana citizens, including the company’s employees, and invited entrants to submit their suggested name and reasoning anonymously.
The winner was Thembani Moitlhobogi, who will receive a prize of 25,000 pula (approximately $2,196).
Overall, the contest garnered more than 11,000 entries. Ernst & Young was brought in to help ensure a fair competition, and a judging panel comprised of five executives from both Lucara and the Karowe mine, where the diamond was found, selected the winning name.
The 1,111-carat, Type IIa diamond is the second-largest gem-quality diamond ever found, behind the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond, which was discovered in January 1905 at the Premier mine in South Africa.
“The outpouring of pride and patriotism shown by all the participants in the contest was incredible,” Lucara CEO and President William Lamb said. “The diamond industry has played a vital role in the country’s development, allowing for significant and ongoing investment in world-class healthcare, education and infrastructure. ‘Lesedi La Rona’ symbolizes the pride and history of the people of Botswana.”
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