The diamond firm Debswana has announced the discovery in Botswana of a 1 098-carat stone that it described as the world’s third-largest.
The stone was found on 1 June and was presented to the country’s President, Mokgweetsi Masisi, on Wednesday. See the picture below.
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Debswana Managing Director Lynette Armstrong said the rare and extraordinary stone means so much in the context of diamonds and Botswana adding that it brings hope “to the nation that is struggling.” She added:
_It is believed to be the third-largest gem-quality find in the world._
The yet-to-be-named stone, which measures 73mm long, 52mm wide and 27mm thick is also the biggest stone of gem quality to be found in the history of Debswana, a joint venture between the Botswana government and global diamond giant De Beers.
The biggest diamond ever discovered in the world was the 3,106-carat Cullinan, found in South Africa in 1905.
The second-largest was 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona – a diamond the size of a tennis ball, discovered at Karowe, northeastern Botswana, in 2015.
Botswana is Africa’s leading diamond producer.
Minerals Minister Lefoko Moagi said the discovery of the stone could not have come at a better time after the COVID-19 pandemic hit diamond sales in 2020.
The government receives as much as 80 percent of the income from Debswana’s sales through dividends, royalties and taxes.
Production at the company fell 29 percent in 2020 to 16.6m carats while sales fell 30 percent to $2.1bn as the pandemic impacted both production and demand.