The second largest diamond ever mined has been sold to a private owner at a public auction in London. The Canadian company Lucara brought the diamond to the surface in Botswana two years ago.
The gem, called Lesedi La Rona, which means “Our Light“, is the size of a tennis ball and has a weight of 1,109 carats. The diamond was bought by a London jeweler for $53 million , the biggest diamond sale in the last one hundred years. In the next few months the new owner of the diamond wants to cut it into several smaller stones.
The only diamond larger than the Botswana diamond was the Cullinan , which was discovered in South Africa in 1905. It was cut into several smaller diamonds, which are today part of the British Crown Jewels.
Lucara tried to sell the diamond last year but did not get the price it wanted, probably because the diamond is extremely difficult to cut. The Canadian mining company is one of the largest in the world and operates diamond mines in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Angola and South Africa.
- carat = a unit for measuring the weight of jewels; 1 carat = 200 milligrams
- discover = to find for the first time
- extremely = very
- gem = a beautiful and valuable stone
- mine = to dig deep holes into the earth and get valuable minerals, like coal, gold or diamonds out if it
- operate = to control a company or organisation
- public auction = a meeting where everyone can go to and where land, buildings, paintings and other objects are sold to the person who offers the most money for them.
- several = many
- surface = top layer of something
- weight = how heavy something is