Thu, Jun 30, 2016

Art & Auctions
No takers for $70m ‘rock’ star

A colossal diamond from Botswana the size of a tennis ball failed to sell at a Sotheby’s auction in London, UK, yesterday.

The 1,109-carat Lesedi la Rona is said to be the largest rough diamond to be discovered in over a century and the largest rough diamond in existence.

Bidding reached $61 million, below the $70 million minimum Sotheby’s had hoped for.

The Lesedi la Rona – which means “Our Light” in the Tswana language spoken in Botswana – was uncovered by Lucara Diamond Corporation in November 2015.  Around the size of a tennis ball, the rough diamond is of exceptional transparency and quality and around 2.5 to over 3 billion years old.

In terms of its size, the rough is exceeded only by the Cullinan Diamond, mined in South Africa in 1905. 

The 3016.75-carat Cullinan Diamond produced nine major diamonds that are part of the historic Crown Jewels of the UK, including the Great Star of Africa – currently the largest top- quality polished diamond in existence, weighing 530.20 carats.

Sotheby’s had billed Lesedi la Rona’s discovery as “the find of a lifetime”.

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