Amazing Diamond Discoveries in the 21st Century
Throughout history, there have been many fascinating diamond discovered all over the world. First sighted in India in 2500 BC before being decoratively used in 320 BC, diamonds have come a long way from the rough forms when they were first discovered and used as to the stunning symbols of love and commitment they are today. We take a look at some of the amazing diamond finds in the 21st century and modern-day era.
Lucara Diamond: 1,758 carats
The Lucara diamond
The 1,758-carat Lucara Diamond was discovered in April 2019 in the Karowe Diamond Mine located in Botswana. About the size of a tennis ball and weighing close to 352 grams, it is the world’s second largest diamond, second in size only to the 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond, recovered in South Africa in 1905.
The Okavango Blue: 41,11 carats
The Okavango Blue Diamond
The Okavango Blue Diamond was discovered at Botswana’s Orapa Mine in May 2018 as a 41,11-carat rough stone. It has since been cut into a remarkable oval-shaped diamond weighing over 20 carats. It is the biggest blue diamond discovery ever made in Botswana and it sits in the top bracket of all-time historical blue diamond finds. The stunning natural diamond has been graded as a Type IIb Fancy Deep Blue, Oval Brilliant Cut VVS2 clarity, making it one of the highest polished colour classifications attainable for any blue diamond. The stone is named ‘The Okavango Blue’ in recognition of Botswana’s own environmental natural treasure and World Heritage site, the Okavango Delta.
Lesedi La Rona: 1,111 carats
The Lesedi La Rona Diamond
The Lesedi La Rona Diamond, which means “our light” in Setswana, was discovered in Botswana in November 2015. This magnificent diamond is one of the largest diamonds found in over a century and was sold for US$53 million. The rough stone weighed a whopping 1,111-carats, about the size of a tennis ball. It was cut into a 302.37 carat diamond, which is the largest, highest clarity, highest colour diamond ever graded, and the largest emerald cut diamond in the world. It took approximately 18 months to polish and turn it into the gem it is today. The rough rock was large enough to produce an additional 66 satellite gems, all ranging between 1 and 26 carats. In addition, fragments will be donated to the Smithsonian Institute for research purposes.
Lesotho Diamond: 910 carats
The Lesotho Diamond
A 910-carat diamond (about the size of two golf balls) thought to be the fifth largest in the world was discovered in the Letseng mine in the kingdom of Lesotho, in January 2018. It’s a D colour Type IIa diamond, which means it has very little to no nitrogen atoms and is one of the most expensive stones. It was sold for US$40 million.
The Lesotho Promise: 603 carats
The Lesotho Promise Diamond
The Lesotho Promise is a 603-carat rough diamond discovered at the Letseng Diamond Mine, in the Kingdom of Lesotho, on 22 August 2006. The diamond was sold at an auction on 9 October 2006 in Antwerp, Belgium for US$12.4 million. Cut into 26 flawless diamonds, The Lesotho Promise included a single 76.4 carat pear-shaped gem, with all pieces being set into a single diamond necklace. The finished gems total 224 carats.
Cullinan Diamond: 3,106 carats
The Cullinan Diamond
The largest diamond ever discovered is the 3,106-carat Cullinan, which was found near Pretoria in South Africa in 1905. The stone was named after Sir Thomas Cullinan, who opened the mine it was discovered in. The Cullinan was cut to form several stones such as the Great Star of Africa, which is currently in the Sovereign’s Royal Sceptre as part of the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London. Other diamonds created from the Cullinan are also set in the Crown Jewels of Britain.
Learn more about amazing diamond discoveries and see remarkable replicas of famous diamonds when you visit the Cape Town Diamond Museum. Open 7 days a week, 9am – 9pm, at the V&A Waterfront Clock Tower in Cape Town.