World’s biggest uncut diamond fails to sell at London Auction

  • The world’s biggest uncut diamond was not sold at an auction as the bid did not meet the minimum reserve price
  • Reportslea the rough diamond was expected to fetch at least $70 million, however, Sotheby’s auction house stopped the bidding at $61 million
  • The tennis ball-sized diamond, which is named Lesedi la Rona, or “Our Light” in Setswana, is thought to be 3 billion years old

LONDON, England – Despite the promotion that led to much admiration and anticipation, the world’s largest uncut diamond failed to sell at a public auction in London last Wednesday night.

Morgan Winsor mentioned in his article for ABC News published on June 30 that the 1,109-carat white diamond was not sold at an auction as the bid did not meet the minimum reserve price, which was kept confidential by Sotheby’s auction house in London.

Reports said the rough diamond was expected to fetch at least $70 million, however, Sotheby’s auction house stopped the bidding at $61 million.

Discovered by Lucara Diamond Corp last November, the stone was unearthed at the company’s mine in Karowe in north-central Botswana. At the moment, the stone is the largest diamond to be recovered in any southern African nation and the biggest find ever in over a century.

The tennis ball-sized diamond, which is named Lesedi la Rona, or “Our Light” in Setswana, is thought to be 3 billion years old.

“Every aspect of tonight’s auction was unprecedented,” Sotheby’s said in a statement after the bidding last Wednesday.

“No one alive today has ever seen a gem-quality rough diamond of this incredible scale; no rough diamond of importance has ever before been offered before at public auction; and no diamond – polished or rough – has ever been estimated at this price level,” the auction house added.

William Lamb, Lucara CEO, said the company will retain the Lesedi la Rona because of the failed auction.

The Canadian company hoped to share the amazing discovery with the widest audience possible, the reason why the company tried selling the diamond at a public auction instead of inviting sealed bids from some wealthy dealers in the diamond industry

An article by BBC News said the Lesedi la Rona is second only to the huge 3,016.75-carat Cullinan Diamond, which was mined in South Africa in 1905 and produced nine major diamonds that became part of the historic Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.

According to an earlier analysis, the Lesedi la Rona have the potential to yield one of the largest top-quality diamonds that has ever been cut and polished. Institutions, like the Gemological Institute of America, also confirmed the rarity and characteristics of the stone.

“The 1,109 ct rough’s top color and transparency exemplify the ‘limpid’ appearance commonly associated with type IIa diamonds,” Gemological Institute of America said, referring to a rare subgroup that comprises less than 2 percent of all gem diamonds.

“Once polished or examined in more detail a final answer will become clear,” it added.

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