Image: Lesedi La Rona – Graff
After more than a year of detailed analysis, cut and polishing by a team of experts, Graff Diamonds began to unveil the diamonds from the Lesedi La Rona and its 1.109 carats.
This Type IIa diamond was mined by the Lucara mine from its Karowe mine in Botswana in November 2015. Initially, the stone weighed 1.111 carats.
The news caused a sensation in the mining sector because the stone, later named Lesedi La Rona, otherwise known as “Our Light” in Setswana, was the second largest rough diamond ever mined. It is exceeded, by weight, only by the Cullinan, a diamond of 3.106 carats extracted in South Africa in January 1905.
The Lesedi La Rona was auctioned at Sotheby’s in London in June 2016, with an estimate of over 70 million USD, but it did not sell.
In September 2017, nearly two years after the discovery of the diamond, Lucara announced that Graff Diamonds – owned by billionaire diamond dealer Laurence Graff, known as the Harry Winston of modern times – had paid $ 53 million to acquire this stone, the size of a tennis ball.
The 1.109 carat diamond naturally found its place in the company’s stocks. At the time of purchase, Graff Diamonds already owned a 373,72 carat piece that had detached from Lesedi la Rona and had been paid $ 17.5 million for.
Laurence Graff has now started revealing the cut stones from this historic rough diamond.
Graff Diamonds does not give out any detail about the number of diamonds that have been cut from Lesedi La Rona. The company simply stated that the stone should produce 60 diamonds in total, ranging from less than one carat to more than 100 carats.
The jewelery house announced that all stones would be D-colored and of “exceptional purity”, all certified by the Gemological Institute of America. They will then be engraved with the inscription “Graff, Lesedi La Rona” and a unique identifier of the GIA.
Asked about the work on the company’s 373,72-carat crude stone, a spokesman said that for now, the focus was on Lesedi La Rona.