Lesedi La Rona

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This last November a 1,109 carat diamond was found in Botswana South Africa which is the second largest rough diamond ever discovered.  The biggest ever discovered was the Cullinan diamond, coming in at 3,106 carats, and was eventually used in some of the Crown Jewels.  The 1,109 carat diamond was pulled out of the ground by Canadian mining company Lucara.

More recently the diamond has gone through appraisal and naming, the solutions for both are unique and fitting for such a stone.  It was named named Lesedi la Rona, meaning “our light” in the local Tswana language.  Appraised by Sotheby’s Lesedi la Rona  has an estimated value over $90 million dollars.  

Lucara seems to think that instead of it being cut into pieces it will stay as one stone because of its unique transparency.  Lesedi la Rona will be offered at auction this summer on June 29.  This event is truly historic because no rough diamond of this size has ever been auctioned off.

Lesedi la Rona is classified as a rare Type IIa diamond.  Type IIa diamonds make up 1–2% of all natural diamonds.  These diamonds are almost or entirely devoid of impurities, and consequently are usually colorless and have the highest thermal conductivity.  Occasionally, while Type IIa diamonds are being extruded towards the surface of the Earth, the pressure and tension can cause structural anomalies arising through plastic deformation during the growth of the tetrahedral crystal structure, leading to imperfections. These imperfections can create a yellow, brown, orange, pink, red, or purple color to the gem.

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