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Fist-sized diamond to be auctioned

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 01:14

The largest gem-quality rough diamond to be discovered in more than 100 years has gone on display in London. Lesedi la Rona was discovered in Botswana and could fetch more than $70 million.

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In this case, size does matter. Lesedi Li Rona is the largest gem-quality rough diamond to be found in more than a century. It's name translates to 'Our light'. And what's even more dazzling - it's estimated to be 3 billion years old. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOTHEBY'S JEWELLERY DIVISION CHAIRMAN, DAVID BENNETT, SAYING: "It's difficult to exaggerate the importance of this stone. And the very fact that we have it is also something that strikes me as absolutely astonishing, miraculous." Weighing 1,109 carats, or more simply - half a pound of butter, it was found in a Botswana mine last November by Canadian mining company Lucara Diamond Corp. It's exact value won't be known until it's cut - and that may never happen. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LUCARA CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, WILLIAM LAMB, SAYING: "It has so many different unique qualities that make it a collector's item that I don't believe it should be polished, I think it is unique as it stands." (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOTHEBY'S JEWELLERY DIVISION CHAIRMAN, DAVID BENNETT, SAYING: "Professionals have told us there's a probability we could cut maybe the largest polished diamond in the world out of it. So it's not only the appeal of the rarity of the diamond itself. " Sotherby's have priced it at 70 million dollars. And it'll go under the hammer - the auctioneers one anyway - later this month.

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Fist-sized diamond to be auctioned

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 01:14