According to the official, synthetics will “compromise” the value of Botswana’s natural diamonds
Mmetla Masire, permanent secretary at Botswana’s Ministry of Minerals, said in a Parliamentary Accounts Committee quoted by Rough & Polished that Botswana cannot engage in production and sale of synthetic diamonds as this will compromise “the value of our diamonds”. Credit: Debswana
Masire said that “Botswana will send a confusing message to its customers should it decide to produce and sale synthetic diamonds”. He added that the Debswana Diamond Company (the joint venture between the government of Botswana and diamond miner De Beers) is searching for other markets other than the US to sell its diamonds, including in China. Credit: De Beers
Masire “refused to provide an update on the ongoing negotiations between Gaborone and De Beers as disclosure of any information pertaining to the negotiations will potentially influence the outcome”. Botswana and De Beers’ huge 10-year diamond sale agreement is expected to expire by the end of 2020. Botswana accounts for more than two-thirds of De Beers’ diamond production.
The Okavango Diamond Company revealed a unique polished blue diamond weighing over 20 carats, the biggest blue diamond discovery ever made in Botswana.
GIA graded the 20.46 carat gem as a type IIb, Fancy Deep Blue, oval brilliant cut, VVS2.
The diamond was discovered at Botswana’s Orapa mine as a 41.11 carat rough stone. Its unique and vibrant blue color is the result of the inclusion of boron which between one to three billion years ago was present in the rocks of ancient oceans during violent diamond forming volcanic activity.
“From the first moment we saw the diamond, it was clear we had something very special. Everyone who has viewed the 20 carat polished diamond has marveled at its unique coloration which many see as unlike any blue stone they have seen before. It is incredibly unusual for a stone of this color and nature to have come from Botswana, a once in a lifetime find, which is about as rare as a star in the Milky Way,” says Marcus Ter Haar, MD of Okavango Diamond Company.
“It is little surprise blue diamonds are so sought after around the world as only a very small percentage of the world’s diamonds are classified as fancy color and, of those, only a select few can be classified as being Fancy Blue,” he added.
“At ODC we have access to 15 percent of Debswana’s run of mine production and feel extremely fortunate to be involved in such a singular find. Only a handful of similar blue stones have come to market during the last decade, of which the Okavango Blue rightfully takes its place as one of the most significant,” said Ter Haar.
The iconic Okavango Blue will be showcased over the coming months to promote Botswana as a leading global producer of natural ethical diamonds with an anticipated sale toward the end of the year.