The president of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi, was on Wednesday presented with a 1,098-carat stone touted to be the “third largest” diamond discovery in the world. In a series of tweets to unveil the precious stone, the government said the diamond was unearthed on June 1 at the Jwaneng mine in south-central Botswana.
The mine, which is described as the “richest diamond mine in the world by value”, is run by Debswana – a mining company equally owned by The De Beers Group of Companies and the government of Botswana. The government of the landlocked nation said the gem goes on record as the largest diamond discovery by the company since the precious stones were first discovered in the country in 1967. The yet-to-be-named stone is 73mm long, 52mm wide and 27mm thick.
“It is believed to be the third-largest gem-quality find in the world,” Debswana Managing Director Lynette Armstrong said about the discovery, according to Al Jazeera. Armstrong added that the “rare and extraordinary stone … means so much in the context of diamonds and Botswana.”
“It brings hope to the nation that is struggling,” Armstrong said.
The president of Botswana, Masisi, also said that “proceeds from the diamond will be used to advance national development in the country.”
Botswana is Africa’s largest diamond producer. And the announcement of the latest discovery comes after the Southern African nation unearthed the world’s second-largest diamond – a 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona – in 2015, BBC reported. That diamond was reportedly purchased for $53 million by British multinational jeweler Graff Diamonds in 2017.
The largest diamond to have ever been discovered is the 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond. It was unearthed in South Africa in 1905.