By Michelle Graff
Louis Vuitton, diamond miner Lucara and Antwerp-based manufacturer HB Company have entered into a collaboration to cut, polish and create a jewelry collection from this rough diamond, the 1,758-carat Sewelô. (Photo credit: Louis Vuitton)
Vancouver—Lucara Diamond Corp., the mining company that has turned up two 1,000-carat-plus diamonds in four years, just found a home for another big stone.

The company announced Wednesday it’s collaborating with iconic French fashion brand Louis Vuitton and diamond manufacturer HB Company to cut the 1,758-carat Sewelô diamond and turn it into a jewelry collection.

It is the second-largest gem-quality, or near gem-quality, diamond ever found, ranking behind only the 3,106-carat Cullinan.

Lucara recovered the stone last April from its Karowe Diamond Mine in Botswana.

Karowe is the same mine where Lucara found the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona, but the Sewelô is not likely to produce the same quality of stones as the Lesedi, which yielded a 302-carat D-color diamond, among others.

The Sewelô looks dark, like an industrial diamond, and has been characterized as “near-gem of variable quality,” with recent analysis confirming: manufacturers will be able to cut some higher-quality white diamonds from it.

20200117 Sewelo rough diamondLucara Diamond Corp. found this 1,758-carat diamond at its Karowe Mine in Botswana last April. Residents of Botswana voted to name the diamond Sewelô, which means rare find in Setswana. (Photo courtesy of Lucara Diamond Corp.)

HB Company, which is based in Antwerp, will work with Lucara and Louis Vuitton to plan, cut and polish the diamond.

Lucara said it will receive an immaterial amount of money up front for the rough but will retain a 50 percent interest in the polished diamonds that result. Five percent of all retail sale proceeds from the jewelry collection will be invested in community-based initiatives in Botswana that Lucara undertakes.

Louis Vuitton is one of a handful of top fashion brands putting more emphasis on fine jewelry, adding two former Tiffany executives to its staff in recent years.

The brand named Francesca Amfitheatrof its new artistic director of watches and jewelry in April 2018. Amfitheatrof was the former design director at Tiffany.

In October of that same year, Tiffany marketing executive Catherine Lacaze became Louis Vuitton’s director of jewelry and watches.

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