World’s third largest diamond discovered in Botswana

1,098 carat rough diamond

The diamond firm Debswana has announced the discovery in Botswana of a 1,098-carat stone that it described as the third largest of its kind in the world.

The company’s acting managing director, Lynette Armstrong, presented the stone, which was found on 1 June, to the country’s president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, on Wednesday.

It is the third largest in the world, 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.

“This is the largest diamond to be recovered by Debswana in its history of over 50 years in operation,” Armstrong said.

“From our preliminary analysis it could be the world’s third largest gem-quality stone. We are yet to make a decision on whether to sell it through the De Beers channel or through the state owned Okavango Diamond Company.”

The “rare and extraordinary stone … means so much in the context of diamonds and Botswana,” she said. “It brings hope to a nation that is struggling.”

The minerals minister, Lefoko Moagi, said the discovery of the stone, which is yet to be named but measures 73 by 52 by 27mm, could not have come at a better time after the Covid-19 pandemic hit diamond sales in 2020.

Debswana is a joint venture between Anglo American’s De Beers and the Botswanan government, which receives as much as 80% of the income from sales through dividends, royalties and taxes.

Production at Debswana fell by 29% in 2020 to 16.6m carats and sales fell by 30% to $2.1bn as the pandemic affected production and demand.

Debswana plans to increase output by as much as 38% to pre-pandemic levels of 23m carats in 2021 as the global diamond market recovers with the easing of travel restrictions and reopening of jewellers.

Source: theguardian

Lesotho joins the diamond league

Lesotho rough diamonds

The auction came as the Mountain Kingdom explores how to ensure diamond mines are at least 51 percent-owned by locals, which will include the entry of small-scale miners into the sector.

Lesotho’s diamonds are usually auctioned in Antwerp, Belgium. Buyers from as far as the Netherlands and Israel were joined by those from neighbouring South Africa and locals at the inaugural auction.

Launched by Deputy Prime Minister Mathibeli Mokhothu, the auction sold off diamonds collected from the public and those confiscated by the police in recent months. Of the 493 diamonds auctioned, 140 were voluntarily handed over by the public while 353 were confiscated by the police.

The government offered an amnesty from November 2020 to March 2021 to anyone in possession of undocumented diamonds, allowing them to hand the gems over without fear of prosecution. The auction was held from May 27 to 29.

Mining Minister Serialong Qoo said all revenue from the confiscated diamonds would be forfeited to the state and proceeds from gems voluntarily handed to the government would be paid into the holders’ bank accounts.

“I am very delighted that this day has finally come after it was initially delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a big move as parliament has now embraced the idea of letting Basotho mine with their picks and shovels legally,” said Minister Qoo.

Mining Ministry spokesperson Ms ‘Makananelo Motseko this week said a final report on the auction was being compiled and would be made public.

At the auction, Deputy PM Mr Mokhothu said, “We hope this local auctioning will spell the end for illegal diamond dealing as trade will be done securely and legally. This occasion gives me hope that soon, all of Lesotho’s diamonds will be sold in-country and benefit it economically.”

He also said Lesotho should move towards ensuring that at least 51 percent of shareholding in the diamond mines is held locally while investors would hold the remaining 49 percent.

Source: southerntimesafrica

54ct. Diamond Crushes Estimate at Christie’s

The Chrysler Diamond necklace

The 54.03-carat Chrysler Diamond necklace was among the top sellers at the Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale in New York, bringing in $5.1 million.

The pear-shaped, D-color, internally flawless stone was originally purchased by Harry Winston in 1958 from the estate of Thelma Chrysler Foy, the daughter of railroad and automotive executive Walter Chrysler. The necklace beat its high estimate of $4.5 million at the June 8 auction, which garnered $26.6 million in total, Christie’s said Tuesday.

Also headlining the sale was the Dancing Sun, a cushion modified brilliant-cut, 204.36-carat, fancy-intense-yellow, VVS2-clarity diamond, the largest originating in North America. The stone sold for $5 million, near the upper end of its valuation.

The Flawless Match, a ring featuring a pear-shaped, 2.52-carat, fancy-vivid-blue diamond and a pear-shaped, 2.43-carat, D-color, internally flawless, type IIa diamond, fetched $2.9 million, within its estimate. Meanwhile, a collection of 19 jewels by JAR, the largest selection of the designer’s pieces offered at auction, went for a total of $5.9 million. That set was led by a diamond bracelet called Branch Under Snow, which achieved $1.9 million, more than three times its high estimate.

The auction house sold 87% of items at the event. Before the live sale, it also held a Jewels Online auction that raked in $3.5 million, with 97% of lots finding buyers.

Source: Diamonds.net

De Beers Raises Prices of Larger Diamonds

Rough diamonds at De Beers

De Beers increased prices of goods above 2 carats at this week’s sight as shortages of rough coincided with strong polished demand.

Prices rose around 5%, and more in some categories, market insiders told Rapaport News on Monday. Near-gem items also saw significant increases, while prices for other stones under 2 carats were either stable or slightly up.

“They seem to have picked areas where they’ve seen room [for price growth], and they’ve just hiked the prices up,” a source in the rough sector said on condition of anonymity. “For the time being, the market is absorbing it.”

Rough trading has been strong in recent weeks because of reduced supply from the large miners and solid polished sales. The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat diamonds has risen 2.5% since May 1.

Rough above 1 carat has been especially sought-after, with premiums on the secondary market rising while manufacturers look to fill inventory gaps. A backlog of grading submissions at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has exacerbated the situation.

The June sight value will be similar to last month’s $380 million as customers snap up the limited goods available at the sale, sources said. Proceeds were higher earlier in the year — peaking at $663 million in January — when manufacturers restocked after the holidays and De Beers had larger volumes available to sell.

“There’s a shortfall in goods,” an executive at an Indian sightholder said Monday. “They’re not able to serve everyone what they’re entitled to.”

Rough demand slumped during the 2020 coronavirus crisis as the global supply chain froze. De Beers chose to maintain prices until August, when it offered deep discounts to encourage sightholders to resume buying. It has since reversed those cuts, gradually bringing prices to above pre-pandemic levels in many categories.

The sight began on Monday and runs until Friday. De Beers was not available for comment at press time.

Source: Diamonds.net

Lucara Recovers 470 Carat Diamond from the Karowe Mine in Botswana

470 carat diamond recovered from the Karowe Mine in Botswana

Lucara Diamond Corp. is pleased to announce the recovery of a 470 carat top light
brown clivage diamond from its 100% owned Karowe Diamond Mine located in Botswana.

The diamond, measuring 49x42x26mm, was recovered from direct milling of ore sourced from the EM/PK(S) unit of the
South Lobe. The 470 carat recovery forms a notable contribution to a series of top quality gem and clivage quality
diamond recoveries during a recent production run, including an additional 5 diamonds greater than 100 carats
(265ct, 183ct, 161ct, 116ct, 106ct) and 13 diamonds between 50 and 100 carats in weight.

The May production run, dominated by EM/PK(S) ore, produced diamonds greater than 10.8 carat in weight accounting for 12.7% weight percent of total production, exceeding resource expectations. Continued strong resource performance and recovery of large diamonds reinforces the significance of the EM/PK(S) as an important economic driver for the proposed underground mine at Karowe.


The 470 carat diamond was recovered in the Coarse XRT circuit and represents the third +300 carat diamond
recovered to date in 2021. Year to date, Karowe has produced 10 diamonds greater than 100 carats including 6
diamonds greater than 200 carats, including the 341 carat (link to press release) and 378 carat (link to press release)
top white diamonds recovered in January 2021.

The Largest Diamond Ever Mined in North America up for Auction

204.36-carat “Dancing Sun” fancy intense yellow diamond

A 204.36 carat fancy yellow diamond hits the block at the Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction on June 8 in New York City. The Dancing Sun, with an estimate of $3.5 million to $5.5 million, is the largest polished diamond ever mined in North America.

It was cut from a piece of rough weighing 552.74 carats. Six smaller diamonds were cut from the same rough, ranging from 14.52 to 1.06 carats, and are also included in the sale. All six are set into rings. The rough diamond came from the Diavik Diamond Mine, the second to open following the great Canadian diamond rush of the 1990s.

The previous record for the largest known gem quality rough ever mined in North America was the 187.66 carat Foxfire rough, also mined at Diavik. It was cut into several gems, including a pair of pear shapes weighing 37.87 and 36.80 carats, auctioned at Christie’s New York in December 2018 for $1.5 million.

Petra puts “exceptional” 39-carat blue diamond up for sale

39.34 carat blue diamond recovered by Petra South Africa

South Africa’s Petra Diamonds has put a 39.34 carat Type IIb gem recovered at its iconic Cullinan mine in April up for sale, with viewings beginning June 15.

The company said the diamond of “exceptional quality” in terms of both its colour and clarity, will be showcased in Antwerp, Dubai, Hong Kong and New York.

Petra, which anticipates that the diamond will be sold via a special tender, said that biddings via its online platform will close on July 12.

While it didn’t set a price range for the stone, the miner said high-quality blue diamonds like the one for sale usually fetch the highest values.

Petra’s Blue Moon of Josephine diamond, cut from a 29 carat rough blue diamond, sold for $48.5 million in 2015.

The figure corresponds to a price of $4 million per carat, which remains the world record price per carat ever paid for a diamond.

Cullinan is known as the world’s most important source of blue diamonds, as well as being the birthplace of the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond, which was cut to form the 530-carat Great Star of Africa. The operation also yielded the 317-carat Second Star of Africa. They are the two largest diamonds in the British Crown Jewels.

Source: Mining.com

73ct. Yellow to Shine at Sotheby’s New York Sale

73.11 carat yellow diamond

Sotheby’s will offer a fancy-vivid-yellow diamond ring at its New York sale next month, estimating the piece could fetch up to $3 million.

The cut-cornered square step-cut, 73.11-carat, VS2-clarity jewel by Mayfair designer Glenn Spiro, called The Sienna Star, is one of the largest fancy-vivid-yellow diamonds to come to auction, Sotheby’s said Wednesday. The piece is one of the top items at the June 9 Magnificent Jewels sale. The auction will feature jewelry for the “Roaring Twenties 2.0” as people return to the social scene following long lockdowns, Sotheby’s noted.

A private collection of six jewels with a combined estimate of more than $13 million are another headline lot at the New York sale. Those include a necklace by Andrew Clunn, set with 28 oval-shaped diamonds totaling over 168 carats, which carries a high estimate of $3 million, and an emerald-cut, 23.59-carat, D-color, internally flawless, type IIa diamond ring with an upper valuation of $2.8 million.

A Colombian emerald and diamond garland necklace by Harry Winston, estimated at up to $2.5 million, and a 13.02-carat Burmese ruby ring, mounted by Carvin French, with a $2 million high valuation, are also part of the collection. Proceeds from the sale of those six items will be donated to charity.

Additionally, Sotheby’s will showcase a Bulgari ring with a 25.29-carat Kashmir sapphire flanked by diamonds, which it expects will bring in up to $3 million. Meanwhile, a modified square brilliant-cut, 3.75-carat, fancy-intense-pink, VVS1-clarity diamond ring, accented by triangle-shaped and round diamonds, is estimated to fetch up to $2.5 million.

The auction house will present jewels from the collection of philanthropist Margaret Jonsson Rogers, the daughter of Texas Instruments founder and Dallas mayor J. Erik Jonsson, as well as property from the estate of Mary Ethel Weinmann, the daughter of Count and Countess André de Limur, it added.

Source: Diamonds.net

Lucapa acquires Merlin diamond project in Australia

Merlin diamond mine in Australia’s Northern Territory.

Lucapa Diamond announced that it has entered into a binding asset sale agreement for the acquisition of a 24km2 mining lease and a 283km2 exploration tenement encompassing the mining lease and associated equipment and assets the Merlin Assets from Merlin Operations Pty.

Merlin Operations is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Merlin Diamonds Limited, which is in liquidation. The Merlin Tenements are located in the Northern Territory of Australia, approximately 720km southeast of Darwin.


Merlin is home to Australia’s largest mined rough diamond on record and has the potential to be the
only producing diamond mine in Australia, following the closure of Rio Tinto’s iconic Argyle mine in 2020, after 37 years in production.

The strategic acquisition is supported by a A$20 million ($15.5m) private placement plus a share purchase plan to raise up to A$3 million ($2.3m).

The acquisition price of A$8.5m cash represents a ~A$2/ carat multiple on Merlin’s existing 4.4m
carat JORC compliant resource and complements Lucapa’s existing portfolio, the company said, adding a near-term development opportunity with an existing 4.4m carat mineral resource estimate in Australia to Lucapa’s two existing producing assets in Angola and Lesotho.

The ~300km2 tenement package also comes with significant exploration upside, Lucapa said, through over 70 unresolved anomalies in areas where all kimberlite discoveries have been diamondiferous.

Source: Mining.com

Christie’s Sells Pink Diamond for Record $29M

The Sakura diamond ring.
The Sakura diamond ring. 

The Sakura ring was the star at Christie’s Hong Kong, setting a world-record auction price for a purple-pink diamond.

The cushion-cut, 15.81-carat, fancy-vivid, internally flawless stone sold within its estimate for $29.3 million, or $1.9 million per carat, at the May 23 Magnificent Jewels auction, Christie’s said Sunday. The piece, purchased by a private Asian buyer, was also the most valuable jewel sold at auction so far this year. Overall, the Hong Kong sale raked in $76.8 million, the auction house’s highest total for a jewelry auction in four years.

“We are very excited to have marked another important chapter in jewelry-auction history today, with The Sakura realizing a record-breaking price,” said Vickie Sek, chairman of Christie’s Asia Pacific jewelry department. “The strong sell-through rates and exceptional prices achieved for top-quality colored diamonds and gemstones reflect a robust market demand.”

However, even with the record pricing, the pink diamond still fell short of its $38 million high estimate.

“I would not consider this to be at the lower end of the market price, but there was room for it to go [further] if the current economic stability and situation was better,” Harsh Maheshwari, executive director of colored-diamond dealer Kunming Diamonds, told Rapaport News. “Post-Covid-19, if a similar item were to be auctioned, it would possibly touch, or break, the higher end of the estimated price.”

Meanwhile, The Sweet Heart, a heart-shaped, 4.19-carat, fancy-vivid-pink diamond ring, brought in $6.6 million, or $1.6 million per carat, within its presale valuation.

Other notable items include a necklace with a 50.05-carat, D-flawless, type IIa briolette diamond pendant, which garnered $2.7 million. That price, which comes to $53,399 per carat, was just above its low estimate. A square emerald-cut, 31.17-carat, fancy-vivid-yellow, VS2-clarity diamond ring went for $2.2 million, smashing its high estimate, as did a Cartier necklace with diamonds and five Colombian emeralds weighing a total of 16.43 carats, which achieved $2.1 million.

Overall, Christie’s sold 82% of items on offer at the auction.

Source: Diamonds.net