The second-biggest uncut diamond in history has been unearthed from a mine in Botswana by a Canadian mining company. Lucara Diamond Corp discovered the 1,758-carat diamond, which is larger than a tennis ball and weighs close to 352g, just three years after making a separate record discovery in 2015.
The stone is second in size only to the famed 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond, which was found near Pretoria in South Africa in 1905. The stone is the latest in a series of high-value recoveries for the company at Karowe. Since introducing its XRT diamond recovery technology, Lucara has recovered 12 diamonds over 300 carats, including a 472-carat and a 327-carat diamond in April 2018.
The company struggled to sell the previouslydiscovered 1,109-carat “Lesedi La Rona” after it failed to meet its undisclosed reserve price at a June 2016 auction. It was eventually bought for $53m (£41.1m) by British dealer Graff Diamonds nearly two years later. Two of the polished gems cut from the Cullinan – the Great Star of Africa and the Lesser Star of Africa – feature in the Crown Jewels of Britain. Forbes reported late last year that Graff had created 67 finished gems from the stone.