Until a few days ago the highest recorded price for a jewel at auction was US$35.3 million for a 507 carat white stone that was discovered at Cullinan mine in South Africa. The gem which is the 19th largest ever discovered was sold to a Hong Kong based private retailer, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery.
However, a gem unearthed by Lucara Diamond Corp. from its Karowe mine in Botswana broke the five year record fetching US$63 million. This recent sale could be considered momentous given the history of South Africa’s Cullinan which is known for unearthing some of the world’s finest and largest gems. Cullinan turned up a 3, 106 carat gem in 1905 known today to be the biggest diamond ever discovered. The diamond was cut to form the 530-carat Great Star of Africa and the 317-carat Lesser Star of Africa set in the Crown Jewels of Britain.
According to Lucara the sale of the 813 carat diamond, labelled “The Constellation” to a Dubai based company Nemesis International DMCC comes ahead of the much anticipated auction of the “Lesedi La Rona” gem, also unearthed by Lucara around the same time in November last year. Lesedi La Rona comes second to the world’s largest diamond turned up by Cullinan over a century ago. Lucara presently holds titles to two significant events, one being that it broke the record for the highest price fetched for a gem and also that it comes at second best for the largest stone discovered.
William Lamb, President and CEO of Lucara is quoted as saying, “We are very pleased with the result from the sale of this magnificent 813 carat diamond as well as the opportunity to further participate in profits earned when the polished product is sold. The sale of the 813 carat diamond is the highest price ever achieved for a rough diamond, breaking all records. This achievement solidifies our reputation in the jewellery industry as one of the most important sources of diamonds of the very highest quality. We look forward to the next stage of Lucara’s development with the sale of the spectacular 1,109 carat, Lesedi La Rona diamond which will take place at Sotheby’s London on June 29, 2016.”
According to Lucara, Lesedi La Rona is expected to fetch upwards of $70 million, which means that The Constellation will hold the record price for a little over a month.
Lucara communicated that it will retain 10 percent interest in the net profit received from the sale of the resultant polished diamonds of The Constellation, with 90 percent being kept by Nemesis International DMCC.