When A 1109 Carat Diamond Is For Sale

Posted on Wednesday, April 4th, 2018 at 12:06 pm by Shelley's

There is nothing unusual about Sotheby’s selling a diamond. What was odd on this day in June of 2016 was that they were unable to get a bid at the minimum price. This was very important because the auction was a one-item auction. The Lesedi La Rona diamond was the second largest gem-quality diamond ever found. It had been on a world tour, and it was the only item in this auction…  and they could not get the minimum bid. Everyone went home.

The Lesedi La Rona Diamond. Photo courtesy of Sotheby's.

Let’s back up and get the story from the beginning. In 2015 a trainee sorter at a diamond mine in Botswana was sifting sand and dirt through his hands when he came to a large clump that he needed to break up. But it would not break up. Moments later he realized that in his hands he had a diamond the size of a small orange. It weighed out at 1109 carats, and they named it Lesedi La Rona which means “our light.”

Let’s be fair to Sotheby’s. We all know they have sold a massive amount of big diamonds. But those were cut and polished. It is quite rare for the big auction house to be asked to sell a rough diamond. So the final result was a top bid of $51 million which was below the reserve and the diamond did not sell.

So what happened? In September 2017 the mine owners sold the monster gem to Graff Diamonds of London for $53 million. Now the diamond will be studied for months as experts decide how to cut it.  Typically, when diamonds are cut there is weight loss of over 50% so sometime in the future we will see pictures of a stunning polished diamond weighing hundreds of carats.

We expect that within a few months we will get the news of what was cut out of this rough diamond and we will report that to you in a new blog post.  Why not sign up to receive all of our blog posts so you will not miss the news. Click here to sign up.

Maybe you aren't looking for a 1109 carat diamond, but we do have many estate loose diamonds for you to choose from.