Diamond the size of a tennis ball could fetch $70 million


spaminator
#1
Diamond the size of a tennis ball could fetch $70 million
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First posted: Wednesday, May 04, 2016 01:26 PM EDT | Updated: Wednesday, May 04, 2016 05:19 PM EDT
A three-billion-year-old diamond the size of a tennis ball could fetch more than C$90 million when the Canadian mining company that unearthed it puts the rock up for auction this summer.
But the first person to lay eyes on the whopping gem barely gave it a glance, the CEO of Vancouver-based Lucara Diamond Corp. recalled Wednesday, as the eye-popping estimate for the precious stone was issued by auctioneer Sotheby's.
"He'd only been working for us for two weeks, so he sees the thousand carats and goes 'oh, this must be normal,'" William Lamb told The Canadian Press. "He didn't tell anybody. It was only when the chief saw it that there was this huge commotion on site."
The diamond was unearthed in November, at the Karowe mine in Botswana that's owned by Lucara (TSX:LUC).
After being closely examined, it was found to measure 1,109 carats, making it the second-largest gem-quality rough diamond ever discovered.
The only bigger diamond found to date was the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond, unearthed in South Africa in 1905. It was cut into nine pieces that form part of the U.K. Crown Jewels.
The Cullinan diamond, however, was found when a mine worker noticed something glinting in the side of a pit, grabbed a ladder and started chipping around it with a pen knife, said Lamb.
The diamond found at the Lucara mine, in contrast, managed to survive a modern mining process which included drilling, blasting, excavation, crushing and mechanized sorting, he said.
"Our stone actually went through an entire processing facility before it was recovered," Lamb explained. "We were very lucky."
The diamond has been named Lesedi la Rona, meaning "our light" in the local Tswana language.
The name came from a local contest which drew some 11,000 entries, Lamb said, and carries a special meaning for Botswana, whose economy has benefited greatly from diamond mining.
The Lesedi la Rona is currently on a world tour ahead of an auction in London this summer.
It has already been displayed in Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai, and will be shown in New York this weekend before heading to locations in Europe, said Lamb.
"We're trying to get access to people who may want it as a collector's item," he said. "We're looking at people who have the financial resources, but also see the uniqueness, the rarity and the beauty in the stone."
Auctioneer Sotheby's has estimated the diamond could sell for more than C$90 million, but Lamb said just how much the rock will ultimately go for is hard to say.
"This is historic," he said. "It is the only plus thousand carat stone in existence."
Whoever acquires the diamond will have to decide whether to cut and polish the stone, possibly splitting it into smaller pieces, or keep it in its rough form.
"If you ask me, I wouldn't cut it. It is unique," said Lamb, who remembered feeling "shock and awe" when he first held the diamond.
"It automatically draws you to it. I'd say the stone has an addictive quality to it."
Sotheby's has said the rough gemstone "of exceptional transparency" could yield the largest top-quality diamond ever cut and polished, if the buyer decides to go that route.
David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby's jewelry division, called the discovery "the find of a lifetime" and the auction unprecedented, because no rough diamond of this size has ever been auctioned.
The Lesedi la Rona could smash the record price for a diamond of US$48.5 million, paid at a Geneva sale last year for the 12.03-carat polished "Blue Moon" diamond. Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau picked it up as a gift for his 7-year-old daughter.
The Lesedi la Rona diamond will be offered at auction on June 29.
Diamond the size of a tennis ball could fetch $70 million | World | News | Toron
 
Blackleaf
#2
That's nothing. I'm selling a tennis ball the size of a diamond for 70p.
 
spaminator
#3
Rough 813 carat diamond sells for record $63.1M
THE CANADIAN PRESS
First posted: Monday, May 09, 2016 08:24 PM EDT | Updated: Monday, May 09, 2016 08:33 PM EDT
CALGARY -- Lucara Diamond Corp. says it has sold one of the biggest diamonds ever found for US$63.1 million.
Company president William Lamb says in a statement that the price was the highest ever paid for a rough diamond.
Lamb adds that the 813 carat diamond, called Constellation, is also the sixth-largest gem-quality diamond ever found.
The Vancouver-based company didn't disclose the buyer but said it will also get 10 per cent of the net profit from the polished stones cut from the rough diamond.
Lucara recovered the diamond from the same mine in Botswana where it also found the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona diamond that ranks as the second-largest ever discovered.
Sotheby's is set to auction the Lesedi La Rona diamond on June 29, with estimates that it could sell for US$70 million.
In this undated handout provided by the Lucara Diamond Corporation, a 1,111 carat gem quality, Type IIa diamond is seen displayed. 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. The stone was recovered by the newly installed Large Diamond Recovery (LDR) X-ray transmission (XRT) machines. The stone measures 65mm x 56mm x 40mm in size and is the largest ever to be recovered in Botswana. AFP PHOTO/ HO / LUCIEN COMEN / LUCARA DIAMOND CORPORATION

Rough 813 carat diamond sells for record $63.1M | Canada | News | Toronto Sun
 
spaminator
#4
'Unique Pink' diamond fetches $35.9 million at Geneva auction
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First posted: Tuesday, May 17, 2016 05:48 PM EDT | Updated: Tuesday, May 17, 2016 06:04 PM EDT
GENEVA -- A vivid, pearl-shaped pink diamond said to be the largest of its kind to go under the hammer has sold at auction for 27.3 million Swiss francs ($35.9 million) at a Sotheby's auction.
Sotheby's said the hammer price, which excludes fees, came in at the low end of the expected pre-auction range of $28 million-$38 million. Including fees, the total price was 30.8 million Swiss francs. The buyer wasn't identified.
The 15.38-carat "Unique Pink," mined near the Kimberley area of South Africa and touted for its clarity and pure structure, was the star lot in Tuesday's Geneva auction.
Ehud Laniado, chairman of seller Cora International, said the diamond was particularly rare because of its size, "strong hue and dominant even spread of colour."
The current record for the sale of a pink diamond was $46.2 million, set five years ago by the "Graff Pink."
The record sale for any diamond was $48.5 million of the 12.03-carat polished "Blue Moon" diamond in Geneva earlier this year. The buyer, Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau, had it renamed "The Blue Moon of Josephine" as a gift for his 7-year-old daughter.
In this April 7, 2016 file picture a model displays 'The Unique Pink' the largest Fancy Vivid Pink pear shaped diamond ever offered at auction, at Sotheby's auction rooms in London. The diamond is expected to realize 28-38 million US dollars when is goes for auction in Geneva on Tuesday May 17. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth,file)

'Unique Pink' diamond fetches $35.9 million at Geneva auction | World | News | T
 
spaminator
#5
'Oppenheimer Blue' diamond sold for record $58M
Dorothee Thiesing, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First posted: Wednesday, May 18, 2016 11:24 PM EDT | Updated: Wednesday, May 18, 2016 11:28 PM EDT
GENEVA -- The "Oppenheimer Blue" diamond sold Wednesday for more than 56.8 million Swiss francs (US$57.6 million) including fees, crushing the previous record for the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction.
Capping a lively and even laughter-filled auction at Christie's, the hammer came down to applause as the 14.62-carat stone, billed as the largest Vivid Blue diamond ever put up for auction, went to an unidentified buyer for a hammer price of 50.6 million Swiss francs -- which excluded fees and the buyer's premium.
That obliterated the pre-sale estimate range of between 38 million and 45 million francs.
The final tally also blew away the previous record for a diamond sold at auction by nearly $10 million: The 12.03-carat polished "Blue Moon" diamond went for $48.5 million in Geneva in November.
Christie's spokeswoman Alexandra Kindermann said the bidding for the "Oppenheimer Blue" lasted over 25 minutes for the single lot, after starting at 30 million francs. The anticipation was often marked with tense pauses, groans and laughter.
The rectangular-cut diamond has been set in a ring and flanked by two smaller trapezoid-shaped diamonds. The stone got its name from the late Sir Philip Oppenheimer, who long oversaw De Beers mining and had given the stone to his wife.
Oppenheimer, who died in 1995 at age 83, helped De Beers gain control of the world diamond market by convincing the Soviet Union to let him market its gems. He started his career with the diamond-mining giant in 1933 as a diamond sorter and trainee salesman.
In diamond-business parlance, "provenance" matters. Raymond Sancroft-Baker, Christie's director of European jewelry, said Oppenheimer "had the pick of all diamonds over a 50-year period, and this is what he picked out for his wife."
"There's been several other blue diamonds which have been sold in the past, but nothing really quite of this quality," Sancroft-Baker said, adding that while the stone wasn't internally flawless, it was "nearly perfect."
The sale rounded out a two-day run of big-ticket jewelry auctions in Geneva. At Sotheby's on Tuesday, a vivid, pearl-shaped pink diamond said to be the largest of its kind to go under the hammer sold for 27.3 million Swiss francs ($28 million) -- at the low end of the pre-sale estimated price range.
A Christie's employee poses with the 14.62 carats Oppenheimer Blue diamond during a preview in Geneva, Switzerland May 12, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

'Oppenheimer Blue' diamond sold for record $58M | World | News | Toronto Sun
 
Blackleaf
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by spaminatorView Post

'Unique Pink' diamond fetches $35.9 million at Geneva auction
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First posted: Tuesday, May 17, 2016 05:48 PM EDT | Updated: Tuesday, May 17, 2016 06:04 PM EDT
GENEVA -- A vivid, pearl-shaped pink diamond said to be the largest of its kind to go under the hammer has sold at auction for 27.3 million Swiss francs ($35.9 million) at a Sotheby's auction.
Sotheby's said the hammer price, which excludes fees, came in at the low end of the expected pre-auction range of $28 million-$38 million. Including fees, the total price was 30.8 million Swiss francs. The buyer wasn't identified.
The 15.38-carat "Unique Pink," mined near the Kimberley area of South Africa and touted for its clarity and pure structure, was the star lot in Tuesday's Geneva auction.
Ehud Laniado, chairman of seller Cora International, said the diamond was particularly rare because of its size, "strong hue and dominant even spread of colour."
The current record for the sale of a pink diamond was $46.2 million, set five years ago by the "Graff Pink."
The record sale for any diamond was $48.5 million of the 12.03-carat polished "Blue Moon" diamond in Geneva earlier this year. The buyer, Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau, had it...

Quote has been trimmed, See full post: View Post

Barbara Cartland would have loved it had she still been alive.
 
spaminator
#7
World's largest uncut diamond fails to sell at auction
THE CANADIAN PRESS
First posted: Wednesday, June 29, 2016 03:57 PM EDT | Updated: Wednesday, June 29, 2016 04:06 PM EDT
Vancouver-based Lucara Diamond Corp. has failed to sell the tennis-ball sized diamond it discovered at its Botswana mine last November.
The 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona diamond drew a high bid of US$61 million at the Sotheby's auction in London, falling short of the reserve price.
Sotheby's touted the diamond as the largest gem quality rough diamond to be discovered in over a century, and the largest known to exist today.
The auction house said the Lesedi La Rona diamond is second in gem-quality size only to the Cullinan Diamond, which was discovered in 1905 and later cut into nine smaller diamonds.
Still, the stone was unable to draw bids to match the reserve price, which was not disclosed, and even fell short of the US$63.1 million that Lucara got for an 813-carat rough diamond its sold privately in May.
The name Lesedi La Rona means "our light" in the Tswana language spoken in the area where the diamond was found.
Stock in Lucara (TSX:LUC) was down 49 cents or 12.5 per cent at $3.43 in afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
This file photo taken on June 14, 2016 shows a model posing with an uncut 1109-carat diamond named 'Lesedi La Rona', at Sotheby's auction house in London. The world's largest uncut diamond failed to sell at auction in London on Wednesday as bids failed to reach its reserve price. The Lesedi La Rona, a tennis ball-sized gem found in Botswana, had been estimated to sell for over $70 million. / AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/Getty Images

World's largest uncut diamond fails to sell at auction | Canada | News | Toronto
 
spaminator
#8
Massive 706-carat diamond discovered in Sierra Leone
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First posted: Thursday, March 16, 2017 03:25 PM EDT | Updated: Thursday, March 16, 2017 03:29 PM EDT
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — A pastor in Sierra Leone has discovered the largest uncut diamond found in more than four decades in this West African country and has turned it over to the government, saying he hopes it helps to boost recent development in his impoverished nation.
Pastor Emmanuel Momoh found the 706-carat alluvial diamond in Yakadu village in Sierra Leone’s diamond-rich east, and it was presented to President Ernest Bai Koroma on Wednesday, said presidential spokesman Abdulai Bayraytay.
The gem, a bit smaller than a hockey puck, is the second largest diamond found in Sierra Leone. In 1972, the 968.9-carat Star of Sierra Leone was found by miners and sold for about $2.5 million.
Momoh told The Associated Press that he turned in the diamond because he was touched by the development being undertaken in Kono District, where the gem was found. He cited road construction and improvements to electricity after almost 30 years of blackouts.
“I believe the government can do more, especially at a time when the country is undergoing some economic challenges,” he said.
Sierra Leone’s diamond wealth fueled a decade-long civil war that ended in 2002. Despite its mineral wealth, the country remains one of the poorest in the world.
It was not immediately clear how the pastor came across the diamond.
The president expressed appreciation that there was no attempt to smuggle the gem out of the country, and encouraged others to emulate the pastor’s example. He promised the diamond would be sold to the highest bidder and whatever is due to the owner and government would be distributed accordingly.
“A gift from God, and it will be a terrible thing if anyone tries to do something criminal with it,” the president said.
Spokesman Bayraytay said the diamond has not yet been valued and has been placed in the Bank of Sierra Leone.
The president has given “clear instruction to the Ministry of Mines that the evaluation, sale and distribution of the proceeds must be done in the most transparent manner,” he said.
A 706-carat diamond is pictured on March 16, 2017 in Freetown, Sierra Leone. (SAIDU BAHSAIDU BAH/Getty Images)

Massive 706-carat diamond discovered in Sierra Leone | World | News | Toronto Su
 
Cannuck
#9
Meh...I wouldn't pay more than 50 million myself
 
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