World's Possibly Third-Largest Diamond Discovered in Africa

Botswana now boasts world's second and third largest diamonds.
Fabienne Lang

A 1,098-carat diamond was unearthed in a Botswana mine on June 1, making it potentially the world's third-largest ever discovered, reported the BBC.

The massive gem was found in the Jwaneng mine in southern Botswana, which is considered the world's most valuable mine, per Bloomberg. The country is Africa's largest producer of diamonds, where the world's second-largest diamond was also discovered in 2015 — weighing just over 1,098 carats, said the BBC.

For Debswana, the mining company that owns the mine in which the diamond was found, this marks a major moment in its 50 years of operations, as it has never before unearthed such a large diamond.

"This is the largest diamond to be recovered by Debswana in its history of over 50 years in operation," said Lynette Armstrong, Debswana Diamond Company's acting managing director, cited in the BBC.

"From our preliminary analysis, it could be the world's third-largest gem-quality stone."

The cost of such a stone won't be disclosed until after its analysis. However, the world's second-largest diamond, called Lesedi La Rona, was sold for $53 million, said the BBC. 

As a comparison, the world's largest-ever diamond, the Cullinan, was a whopping 3,106 carats and was discovered in South Africa in 1905, per Live Science. That makes it bigger than both the second and third largest diamonds combined. 

The way diamonds are sometimes mined has pushed some jewelers, such as Pandora, to stop selling mined diamonds, preferring instead to sell lab-made ones. However, diamonds can also play a vastly different role in our lives, by shedding light on how deep earthquakes occur, for instance.

We'll have to wait in anticipation for the newly discovered diamond's name, as well as its price, and what its owners plan on doing with it. For instance, the Cullinan diamond was cut into approximately 100 pieces, and its largest chunk — roughly 530 carats — was sent to England where it has been neatly placed on the sovereign's Royal Scepter in the Tower of London, said Live Science.

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