This 1,109 Carat Diamond Ranked as Second Largest in the World Is Just Too Massive to Sell
The 1,109 carat diamond is the second largest gemstone quality diamond ever discovered. People would love to have this piece in their collection, but it didn’t meet its reserve price and didn’t sell.
Auctioned on 29th June at Sotheby’s, London, this Lesdi La Rona diamond didn’t meet its reserve price.
Why this 1,109 Diamond couldn’t sell?
The second largest quality diamond ever discovered couldn’t find a new owner at a famous public auction.
Mined by Lucara Diamond Corp., in Botswana last year, the 1,109 diamond received the name Lesedi La Rona (“Our Light” in the Tswana language).
Expected to sell in excess of $70 million, the auction couldn’t complete the sale, even if with the highest bid of $61 million.
One of the only rough diamonds ever offered at a public sale, the auction decided to keep the diamond for now.
The CEO of Lucara, William Lamb, in a pre-sale interview with the Antwerp newsletter “Diamond Loupe,” explained why they decided not to sell:
“The Lesedi is estimated at 2.5 to 3 billion years old, which means that the crystal must have started growing very early on during the creation of the Earth.
You cannot replicate it by any means, not by synthetic manufacturing or anything else.
It will never be exactly the same. It won’t have the same inclusions, it won’t have a little gap somewhere, it won’t have this growth plane and it won’t be that large.
People simply do not understand how long it takes to grow a stone, especially one of this size, or anything that is going to be polished into 100 carats for that matter.”
The Lucara sold the 813 carat rough diamond to a private auction reserved for company’s clients several weeks before, for $63 million.
Why they didn’t receive a bigger bid?
Experts say buyers are shy since the technology and expertise needed to cut and polish such a gigantic stone is hard to come by.
In addition, the time of the auction couldn’t have been worse; occurring just six days after Britain’s Brexit vote tormented the world currency and equity markets.
In addition, the sale conducted in U.S. dollars increased sharply in value after the vote, but that only meant that bidders playing in other currencies would pay a premium.
Finally, certain key rough dealers had no intention of bidding for the gem. Only due to Sotheby’s 12% buyer’s premium which would have added $8.4 million to a winning bid at the probable reserve of $70 million.
Auctioneer David Bennett opened the bidding at $50 million, with no one having a rush to make another.
Since they couldn’t sell the gem, many famous publications used the subject to show how the diamond business is facing a difficult time.
What do you think Sotheby’s could’ve done?
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