Tue. Oct 22nd, 2019

Record-breaking 302 carat Botswana diamond now for sale [photos]

Graff Lesedi La Rona diamond botswanaIt is so expensive, the price was not made public.

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The Graff Lesedi La Rona weighs 302.37 carats. It is the largest, highest clarity, highest colour diamond ever graded, and the largest emerald cut diamond in the world.

The raw diamond, unearthed in Botswana, was roughly the size of a tennis ball and weighed 1 100 carats, making it the second largest in the world.

It was mined at the Lucara mine in Botswana by the Lucuara Diamond Corp, and it took approximately 18 months to polish and turn it into the gem it is today. The name – Lesedi La Rona – means ‘our light’ in Tswana.

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The Lesedi La Rona Diamond as unveiled in Cape Town on 10 April. Image via Facebook: @sboschvisio

It is outshined only by the Cullinan Diamond, a 3 106 beast of a rock unearthed in South Africa more than a century ago and currently in possession of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Graff Lesedi La Rona was unveiled in Cape Town on 10 April, but it’s so expensive, Graff Jewelers didn’t reveal the price. However, Laurence Graff did say it was “beyond words.” He explained:

“My love affair with diamonds is life-long and crafting the Graff Lesedi La Rona has been an honour. This diamond is beyond words.”

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The 1,109 carat Lesedi La Rona rough stone. Photo: Stellenbosch Visio/Donald Woodrow.

Graff and his team of gemmologists used sophisticated technology to “explore deep within the diamond, mapping the maze of imperfections.”

They used that information to determine which cut could “would yield the largest and highest clarity” possible.

Graff initially thought it wouldn’t be possible to polish a diamond weighing more than 300 carats. However, with detailed planning, laser cutting, shaping and faceting, the end result exceeded his expectations.

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The process of polishing and shaping the Lesedi La Rona, and the final result. Image via Facebook: @sboschvisio.

Graff added: “All our expertise, skill and accomplishment went into crafting this incredible diamond masterpiece, which is extraordinary in every way.”

The rough rock was large enough to produce an additional 66 satellite gems, all ranging between 1 and 26 carats. In addition, fragments will be donated to the Smithsonian Institute for research purposes.

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Laurence Graff analysed rough rock, and saw a square emerald cut diamond like no other on earth hidden within its depths. Photo: Stellenbosch Visio/Donald Woodrow.

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