What 2017 Has in Store for the World’s Largest Rough Diamond

SourcingDec 20, 2016

What 2017 Has in Store for the World’s Largest Rough Diamond

The Lesedi la Rona, which failed to sell last summer, likely will be offered via a sealed bid tender in 2017.

At 1,109 carats, the Lesedi la Rona is the second largest rough diamond ever discovered, smaller only than the Cullinan Diamond dug up in 1905, which weighed in at 3,016 carats.

Vancouver B.C., Canada--The Lesedi la Rona, the world’s largest discovered diamond that’s still in rough form, likely will be offered for sale again in 2017.

The stone, which was found at Lucara Diamond Corp.’s Karowe Mine in Botswana in late 2015, currently is “undergoing detailed analysis to better understand the polished outcome,” Lucara CEO William Lamb said.

Last June, Lucara made the unorthodox move of trying to sell the Lesedi la Rona in a public auction.

The gamble didn’t pay off.

The 1,109-carat diamond failed to meet its reserve price at Sotheby’s London.

Now, Lucara is waiting on the diamond’s evaluation, which will be finished during the first quarter of 2017, to “determine the next steps in terms of the sale of the diamond,” Lamb told National Jeweler.

Prior to last summer’s sale, Sotheby’s reported that two independent experts predicted that the Lesedi la Rona would yield a polished diamond larger than the Great Star of Africa.

Following its evaluation, the stone’s reserve price was set at $70 million but the highest bid fell short, reaching only $61 million, $68.3 million with buyer’s premium.

“The analysis will provide a better estimate of what the stone could yield and subsequently provide guidance on the value of the stone in the rough,” Lamb explained of re-determining the stone’s price, though he noted that the figure won’t be made public once it is reached.

Though Lucara hasn’t confirmed how they will go about selling the stone, Lamb said they “are considering a sealed bid tender.”

Buyer interest in the Lesedi la Rona remains high, he added.

“We have had continuous requests regarding the stone since the Sotheby’s auction in June. Only those persons who have shown an interest since the auction and who have requested the information from the detailed analysis will be invited to further view the stone and participate in the sales process.”
Ashley Davisis the senior editor, fashion at National Jeweler, covering all things related to design, style and trends.

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