Lucara Diamond Corp. announced that the historic 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona recovered from the Karowe mine in Botswana in November 2015 has been sold for $53 million ($47,777 per carat) to Graff Diamonds.
The giant diamond had previously failed to sell at auction as the bidding did not reach the reserve price. Sotheby’s, which conducted the auction, had put a pre-sale estimate of up to $70 million for the diamond.
Laurence Graff commented, “We are thrilled and honoured 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 honour the magnificent natural beauty of the Lesedi La Rona”.
William Lamb, President and CEO, observed, “The discovery of the Lesedi La Rona was a company defining event for Lucara. It solidified the amazing potential and rareness of the diamonds recovered at the Karowe mine. We took our time to find a buyer who would take the diamond through its next stage of evolution.”
Lamb added, “The price paid is also an improvement on the highest bid received at the Sotheby’s auction in June 2016. Graff Diamonds is now the owner of the Lesedi La Rona as well as the 373-carat diamond, purchased earlier this year, which formed part of the original stone. We are excited to follow these diamonds through the next stage of their journey.”