Futures & Commodities

Biggest diamond for a century sells for $53 million

Key Points
  • A diamond weighing 1,109 carats has sold for $53 million.
  • The Lesedi la Rona is the largest diamond found since 1905.
Largest diamond in a century sold for $53 million

A diamond weighing 1,109 carats — the largest found since 1905 — has sold for $53 million.

The Lesedi La Rona, which means "Our Light" in the Twsana language, was found in a Botswana mine in November 2015. It is the third biggest diamond ever found, and the second largest of gem quality.

Diamond miner Lucara announced it had sold the Lesedi La Rona to Graff Diamonds on Monday for $53 million, or $47,777 per carat.

"The discovery of the Lesedi La Rona was a company defining event for Lucara. It solidified the amazing potential and rareness of the diamonds recovered at the Karowe mine," William Lamb, president and CEO of Lucara, said in a press release.

"The price paid is also an improvement on the highest bid received at the Sotheby's auction in June 2016."

The 1,109 carat Lesedi La Rona rough diamond
Don Emmert | AFP | Getty Images

Lucara tried to sell the diamond at auction last year, but none of the bids met its undisclosed minimum reserve price, according to Reuters.

Laurence Graff, founder of jewel supplier Graff Diamonds, said his company was "thrilled and honored" to own the diamond.

"The stone will tell us its story, it will dictate how it wants to be cut, and we will take the utmost care to respect its exceptional properties," he said in a press release.

"I am privileged to be given the opportunity to honor the magnificent natural beauty of the Lesedi La Rona."