World’s 2nd Largest Diamond Discovered in Botswana

A giant diamond of 1,758 carats, the second largest ever discovered, has been found in Botswana. But unlike its rivals, it will not reach a record price.

Lucara Diamond Corp. announced that it unearthed the stone, about the size of a tennis ball in its Karowe project in Botswana, a mine recognized for its huge gems, including the previous holder of the second world position. Even so, the company said that the diamond is a gem of variable quality, which means that it will not produce incredibly valuable polished diamonds, like those of the previous finds.

The Karowe mine in Lucara is becoming famous for its giant stones. In 2015 Lucara found the Lesedi La Rona of 1,109 carats, which at that time became the second largest found and finally sold for 53 million dollars (47.5 million euros). The mine also produced a stone of 813 carats that reached a record of 63 million dollars. Those two gems were type IIa stones, much more valuable.

Still, the latest finding shows that the Karowe plant can detect and process huge gems without breaking them, a constant headache when it comes to separating brittle stones from hundreds of tons of sterile rock.

“Karowe has produced two diamonds of more than 1,000 carats in just four years, which confirms the likelihood of recovering more large and high-quality diamonds in the future,” Eira Thomas, president and CEO of Lucara said in a statement.

The largest diamond ever discovered is the 3,106 carats Cullinan, which was found near Pretoria in South Africa, in 1905. It was cut into several polished gems, of which the two largest ones, the Greater Star of Africa and the Lesser Star of Africa, are among the jewels of the crown of Great Britain.