Several months ago, I wrote a blog on the large diamonds being discovered by the Lucara Diamond Corporation at their Karowe mine in Botswana. It is now being reported by several media outlets that they have discovered the 2nd largest gem quality rough diamond ever found. Pictured in my facebook post on this, it is 1,111 carats and is 2nd in size only to the Cullinan I which was 3,106 carats. This new gem is the largest rough diamond found in 115 years. It is roughly the size of a tennis ball, measuring 65 x 56 x 40 mm. It was too big to fit in Lucara’s in house scanner and will require a larger 3rd party scanner to render into 3D.
Plus, it is reported to be a Type IIa diamond. Only 2% of all natural diamonds are Type II. So here is the difference: Type I diamonds contain impurities of either nitrogen or boron which give the diamond different amounts of color depending on the number of these trace elements replacing carbon in the crystal lattice. Type IIa diamonds contain none of these trace elements and so, unless there is distortion of the crystal lattice structure, the diamond should be colorless. It certainly looks so in the picture. The possibility exists here to manufacture one or more diamonds of fabulous size and quality that will sell for tens of millions of dollars.
Lucara’s stock price increased 32% on the news of the discovery, adding $150 million to its market value. Plus, that wasn’t the only good news for Lucara. During the same week this diamond was discovered, they also unearthed rough diamonds of 813 carats and 374 carats. The 813 carat diamond is the 6th largest gem quality diamond ever discovered.