From afar, Botswana’s diamond mines look like barren construction sites sunk into rocky hills. At their base, hulking excavation machines turn over what appear to be nothing more than piles of dirt.
Yet within this “rubble” are some of the world’s most valuable precious stones — including, as of this week, a 1,111-carat diamond.
Lucara Diamond Corporation, a diamond producer based in Vancouver, announced this week the discovery of the largest diamond found in more than a century. The stone, which is the size of a human palm, was recovered from the Karowe Mine in Botswana.
In known history, the find is second only to the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond, which produced several stones in the British Crown Jewels.
Shares in Lucara soared by as much as 37 percent Friday upon news of the historic diamond’s discovery, the Globe and Mail reports, increasing the value of the company by $150 million. While Lucara had previously suffered losses of 26 percent this year, CNN Money said these were all but cancelled out with Friday’s standout gains.
The week’s good fortune also included the discovery of two more “exceptional” white diamonds, an 813-carat stone and a 374-carat stone.
“I am truly at a loss for words,” Lucara president and CEO William Lamb said in a statement. He said the larger of the other two stones is the sixth largest gem quality diamond ever mined.
There hasn’t yet been a price evaluation on the 1,111-carat stone, which will likely be assessed at the world’s largest diamond processing center in Antwerp, Belgium.
In April, the BBC reports, a 100-carat diamond was sold by Sotheby’s for $22.1 million. Could the price of this discovery then be 10 times that?
Lamb said in a conference call with investors: “It would not be the best strategy to put all three on the market right away.”
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