The mining company announced late Monday that Graff Diamonds, the London-headquartered company headed by billionaire diamantaire Laurence Graff (no relation to the author), has paid $53 million for the tennis ball-sized stone.
That works out to $47,777 per carat and is $17 million less than what Lucara originally aimed to get for the diamond when it put it up for auction in June 2016, though Lucara President and CEO William Lamb noted that $53 million is more than the highest bid received at the auction.
In the news release issued Monday, Graff called the purchase of Lesedi La Rona a “momentous day” in his career.
“We are thrilled and honored to become the new custodians of this incredible diamond. The stone will tell us its story, it will dictate how it wants to be cut, and we will take the utmost care to respect its exceptional properties. This is a momentous day in my career, and I am privileged to be given the opportunity to honor the magnificent natural beauty of Lesedi La Rona,” he said.
Graff Diamonds already owns a 373.72-carat chunk that broke off the Lesedi La Rona. The company paid $17.5 million for that rough diamond ($46,827 per carat) at Lucara’s exceptional stone tender held in May. Lucara recovered the Lesedi La Rona, a Type IIa diamond that actually totaled 1,111 carats before cleaning, at its Karowe mine in Botswana in November 2015.
The citizens of Botswana participated in a naming contest after the diamond was found. Its name means “our light” in Setswana.
Lesedi La Rona is the second largest rough diamond ever found, topped only by the 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond unearthed in South Africa in January 1905.
On Monday, Lamb called the discovery of the stone a “company-defining event” for Lucara and said: “We took our time to find a buyer who would take the diamond through its next stage of evolution. Graff Diamonds is now the owner of the Lesedi La Rona as well as the 373-carat diamond … We are excited to follow these diamonds through the next stage of their journey.”
2 posts from September 26, 2017
Are the earrings, necklaces, and bracelet clasps secure? These are typically the least durable part of those types of jewelry and because they have moving parts are subjected to considerable force with your fingers.
Are the stones tight? If they wiggle under the prongs, get the prong tightened before the stones come loose. Often you can hear a loose bigger stone rattle by shaking your hand before you even see it is loose.
Is the ring shank still round or is it bent?
- If the ring shank has small diamonds on it, a bend can cause them to come loose. Rings are round when new but forces are applied they can get more oval shape, something not easily visible when on the finger.
- If metal continually gets bent, it can weaken and break. Gold, silver and platinum are the most commonly used jewelry metals. These metals are malleable (ability to bend or be shaped), but repeated or very strong forces can result in bending and ultimately breaking.
- If a ring has been resized, the bottom of the shank has been soldered making it more likely to break. Once the bottom of the shank breaks, the rest of the shank and any small diamonds on the shank are prone to damage.
Is the metal scratched?
- Beware of rings worn together that can scratch each other, especially if they have diamonds close to the edges.
- Minor scratches on the metal can be polished. At home, you can use a polishing cloth to remove minor scratches and return the shine. For more visible scratches, a jeweler or repair shop can provide professional polishing. The problem with too frequent polishing is that the process removing a tiny layer off the surface of the metal.
- White metals like 14-karat, 18-karat gold, and even platinum can be rhodium plated for a smoother, whiter, shinier, and harder surface. Rhodium is a precious metal, a member of the platinum family. Rhodium electroplating is used, especially on jewelry, to provide a surface that will resist scratches and tarnish, and give a white, reflective appearance. Rhodium plating is most often found on white gold. The plating can be done with diamonds set, lasts 2-5 years depending on wear, and the price is typically about $60 or more depending on the item and jeweler.