1,098-Carat Rough Diamond, Third Largest on Record, Found in Botswana

SourcingJun 22, 2021

1,098-Carat Rough Diamond, Third Largest on Record, Found in Botswana

Debswana uncovered the “high gem-quality” rough stone on June 1 at Jwaneng mine’s South Kimberlite pipe.

This 1,098.3-carat “high gem-quality” rough stone was uncovered in Botswana on June 1 by Debswana. It’s believed to be the third-largest white diamond in history. (Image courtesy De Beers Group)
Gaborone, Botswana—A large rough diamond was recently uncovered in Botswana, and it’s believed to be the third largest gem-quality diamond in history. 
Debswana Diamond Company, a 50-50 partnership between De Beers and the government of Botswana, discovered the 1,098.3-carat “high gem-quality” rough stone on June 1, according to a press release. 
It was found at Jwaneng mine’s South Kimberlite pipe and is the largest in Debswana’s history, the company said. 
Debswana held the first official viewing of the diamond with President Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi in Botswana last week, who said proceeds from the diamond will be used for national development.
De Beers said it will release its plans for how it will bring the diamond to market in the future. 
The Jwaneng mine, which started production in 1982, is currently undergoing a $2 billion expansion project to extend its life to 2035.
Prior to this latest find, its largest discovery was a 466-carat stone unearthed in 1993.
Overall, the 1,098.3-carat rough diamond is the third largest gem-quality diamond on record, falling behind the 3,106-carat Cullinan found in South Africa in 1905 and the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona discovered in Botswana in 2015.

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The latter failed to find a buyer when it first went up for auction at Sotheby’s, then was eventually purchased by Graff for $53 million. 
Other massive diamond finds in recent years include the 1,758-carat Sewelô diamond uncovered by Lucara in Botswana in early 2019. 
That stone was dark and “near-gem of variable quality,” or an industrial diamond.

The miner has partnered with French fashion brand Louis Vuitton and diamond manufacturer HB Company to cut the Sewelô and turn it into a jewelry collection.
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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