Botswana discovered the diamond that experts consider to be the third largest in the world, just as the gem market recovered from the sluggish sales caused by the pandemic.
The diamond was unearthed by Debswana, a joint venture between the government and De Beers. It weighs 1,098 carats and is the world’s largest discovery since the Lesedi la Rona gem unearthed in the country in 2015.
As the U.S. economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic, diamond jewelry sales in the U.S. have rebounded. According to people familiar with the matter, this pushed up the price of rough diamonds, and this week the price of De Beers sales activities rose by 5%.
“The market is extremely hot,” said Anish Aggarwal, a partner at the diamond consulting firm Gemdax. “We have seen strong consumer demand. During the Covid and lockdown period, we have seen consumers shift from experiential consumption to personal goods, which has helped the diamond market.”
The Natural Diamond Council, an industry-backed organization, said that from March to May, diamond jewelry sales in the world’s largest market, the United States, increased by 30% compared to the same period in 2019.
At the same time, according to Citi analysts, the world’s largest diamond miners have cut their supply by about one-fifth to support prices compared to their levels before the outbreak.
According to diamond analyst Paul Zimnisky, as of mid-June, the price of rough diamonds has risen by 14.5% this year.
Although the price of the diamond found at the Jwaneng mine in Botswana on June 1 has not been estimated, the Lesedi la Rona diamond was sold in 2017 for $53 million.
Last year diamond miner Lucala Sell A 1,758 carat diamond it found in Botswana was given to Louis Vuitton, although no sales price was given.
The company said: “Debswana will work with the government of the Republic of Botswana and De Beers to value and sell diamonds to ensure that it brings the greatest benefit to the people of Botswana.”
Debswana is Botswana’s largest private employer and the main source of national income, and has been intertwined with the country’s history for half a century.
Jwaneng’s discovery is “a symbol of Botswana,” said President Mokgweetsi Masisi, who held the diamond at a ceremony in the capital Gaborone this week.
The Masisi government has pushed diamond miners to cut the country’s sales more from their sales, including support for making Botswana a greater center of high-value activities such as polishing and trading.
“Our country’s development needs will be partially met by diamond revenues,” Masisi said. “We will levy taxes on companies, they will pay royalties and pay workers compensation, and we will allocate resources through the system we need to develop this country.”
De Beers stated that this diamond will become “one of the most outstanding diamonds ever discovered” in history.
The largest diamond ever discovered is the Cullinan diamond, which was excavated in South Africa in 1905. This 3,106 carat diamond was cut into British crown jewels.