Gi­ant di­a­mond too big for col­lec­tors to swal­low

The Times (South Africa) - - NEWS -

‘ Only the sec­ond stone over 1 000 carats re­cov­ered in hu­man­ity’s his­tory

IN THE world of di­a­mond min­ing, it turns out that some stones are too big to sell.

Cana­dian com­pany Lu­cara Di­a­mond will have to cut its tennis-ball­sized rough di­a­mond to find a buyer, in­dus­try in­sid­ers say.

Sotheby’s was un­able to at­tract a buyer when it auc­tioned the world’s big­gest un­cut stone last year.

It is not the end­ing that Lu­cara CEO Wil­liam Lamb wanted for his 1 109-carat stone, named “Lesedi La Rona”, or “Our Light” in Setswana the lan­guage of Botswana, where it was mined.

“It’s only the sec­ond stone re­cov­ered in the his­tory of hu­man­ity that’s over 1 000 carats. Why would you want to pol­ish it?” said Lamb.

“The stone in the rough form con­tains un­told po­ten­tial. As soon as you pol­ish it into one so­lu­tion, ev­ery­thing else is gone.”

He had gam­bled that ul­tra-rich col­lec­tors, who buy and sell pre­cious art works for record-break­ing sums at auc­tion, would do the same with a di­a­mond in the raw. The un­prece­dented bet failed. Bid­ding for the 2.5 bil­lion to 3 bil­lion-year-old stone stalled at $61mil­lion — it was re­served at $70mil­lion.

“When is a di­a­mond too big? I think we have found that it’s when you go above 1 000 carats,” said a min­ing an­a­lyst. —

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.