High quality diamond producer, Lucara Diamonds says it will launch a competition to give Batswana the chance to name its exceptional 1,111 carat diamond that was recovered at Karowe mine in November 2015.
The decision to have the diamond named by Batswana was reached after the Minister responsible for minerals, Kitso Mokaila struck a deal with Lucara executives for them to forfeit the naming rights and let the locals name the diamond before it is sold. Lucara Diamonds President and CEO William Lamb said Monday in Gaborone that his company will run a competition in which Batswana will suggest a name for the historic stone by emailing their preferred names and reasons to local marketing and communications agency, Leapfrog.
The ultimate winner of the competition, which started on Monday and expected to end on the 28 January 2016, will be chosen by a panel from government, Lucara Diamonds as well as Leapfrog.
“The prize money for the competition is P25, 000,” Lamb said Monday.
The magnificent stone, which originated from the south lobe of Lucara’s Karowe Mine, is the world’s second largest gem quality diamond ever recovered and the largest ever to be recovered through a modern processing facility. Although early indications suggested that sale of the stone could be delayed, it seems the process could be finalized soon. When The Telegraph visited Lucara’s local offices in November last year, few days after the recovery, the executives which included Sales and Marketing Operations Manager, Steve Lincoln could not estimate the value of the stone but noted that it is likely to attract “special buyers”.
In size, the stone ranks behind only the Cullinan, a 3,106-carat behemoth torn from a South African mine in 1905. The Cullinan was subsequently cut and polished into smaller gems that now form part of Britain’s crown jewels. If past prices are any guide, the new stone is worth tens of millions of dollars ÔÇô a major development for a company with a market value of less than U$8 million. Measuring 65mm x 56mm x 40mm, the exceptionally rare Type IIa diamond is around 1,000 times the size of the average engagement ring.