GIA: LESEDI LA RONA PROBABLY WEIGHED 2,744-CARATS BEFORE IT BROKE
Researchers at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) think that the famous 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona, which was sold to Graff Diamonds in September 2017 for $53 million, may have been twice as big before it broke into pieces.
According to Rough & Polished, the GIA researchers examined similarities between the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona, the 812-carat Constellation and three other stones and found that all these diamonds were once “one large piece of rough weighing at least 2,774 carats” before they got split up following “volcanic eruptions or mining processes”.
All five diamonds, which came from Lucara’s Karowe mine in Botswana, had similar visual characteristics in their rough form, including similarities in the stones’ surfaces that suggest “they had become detached from each other”.
The Lesedi La Rona was discovered by Lucara at their Karowe mine in Botswana in November 2015. Back in June 2016, the stone failed to find a buyer at a Sotheby’s auction. It missed its reserve price of $70 million as the highest bid came in at $61 million. The huge gem was sold to Graff in September 2017 for $53 million ($47,777 per carat). It is the largest gem-quality rough diamond to have been discovered in over a century.