Sotheby’s announced today that it will be auctioning off the largest existing rough diamond in the world — and it’s expecting to sell it for an incredible $70 million.
The Lesedi La Rona diamond was found by the Lucara Diamond Corporation in 2015 in Botswana, using a Large Diamond Recovery machine. At 1,109 carats, it is the largest existing diamond in the world, and the second largest diamond ever found. The largest diamond ever discovered is the 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond, which was found in 1905 in South Africa. It was divided into several pieces, and the two largest — the Great Star of Africa and the Second Star of Africa — are both now part of the Crown Jewels of England.
Of course, like all investments, the real value of the Lesedi La Rona is not so much what it looks like now (which is enormous but kind of underwhelming), but how it could potentially look with the right TLC. Sotheby’s press release notes that the diamond could yield “the largest top-quality diamond that has ever been cut and polished.”
If you’re interested in owning this diamond in the rough, the auction is happening in London on June 26th. When we first reported the diamond’s discovery back in November, the CEO of Lucara noted that he was already receiving offers for it, so we have a feeling the sales price might exceed even Sotheby’s already-astounding estimate.