It took more than a year for Canadian miner Lucara to sell the stone proving that size isn’t everything in the diamond market.
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Size isn’t everything in the diamond market, especially for the biggest gem found in more than a century and which took more than a year to sell.
Lucara Diamond Corp. finally sold the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona diamond for US$53 million, or US$47,777 a carat, on Monday to Graff Diamonds, Vancouver-based Lucara said in a statement. While it’s significantly bigger than the 813-carat Constellation stone Lucara found at the same time, that stone sold for a record US$63 million, or about US$77,500 a carat.
The fate of the Lesedi, or “our light” in the Tswana language spoken in Botswana, is a good example of how size isn’t the most important factor in the the diamond industry. The gem is more difficult to cut and the colour isn’t as good as the Constellation, meaning it probably won’t yield as good a polished stone. BMO Capital Markets had forecast that the diamond, which went unsold at a Sotheby’s auction in London last year, could sell for US$75 million.
“If you take the potential outcomes from the stone into consideration, the risk that the buyer is actually taking, you can now see why it wasn’t the easiest one to sell,” Lucara Chief Executive Officer William Lamb said in a phone interview.