World’s biggest diamond to be auctioned – CNBC

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“Lesedi la Rona,” the largest gem-quality rough diamond discovered in more than 100 years, will be auctioned in London next month and is expected to sell for $70 million, international auction house Sotheby’s said on Wednesday.

Ahead of the auction on June 29, the 1,190-carat diamond, its name in Botswana’s Tswana language translates as “Our Light,” was on display at Sotheby’s New York headquarters.

David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s jewelry division, said the size of the Lesedi la Rona amazed experts.

“It really just soared off the scale of rare into something just, one off, it’s just unique,” he said.

Unearthed in Botswana in November 2015 by Canadian mining company Lucara Diamond, the gigantic gem is about the size of a tennis ball and is believed to be between 2.5 billion to more than three billion years old.

Also this week, mining giant Rio Tinto unveiled the largest violet diamond yet found in its Argyle mine in Western Australia. Private trade viewings of the so-called Argyle Violet will start in June.

Christie’s — a major rival to Sotheby’s — will auction the world’s largest natural fancy vivid green diamond in Hong Kong on May 31. The 5.03-carat rectangular-cut diamond is expected to sell for between $16 million and $20 million.

World’s biggest diamond to be auctioned – CNBC