A 1,111-carat diamond roughly the size of a tennis ball was discovered recently in a Botswana diamond mine operated by the Canadian gem company Lucara Diamond, the BBC reports.
It is the second largest gem-quality diamond in the world, as well as the largest diamond ever discovered in Botswana and the largest discovery in more than a century, according to the source.
“The significance of the recovery of a gem quality stone larger than 1,000 carats, the largest for more than a century… cannot be overstated,” said William Lamb, the CEO of Lucara Diamond, in a statement.
Lucara also uncovered two other fairly impressive diamonds in the same mine this week, with one weighing 374 carats and the other, now the sixth largest diamond in the world, weighing 813 carats.
“This has been an amazing week for Lucara with the recovery of the second largest and also the sixth largest gem quality diamonds ever mined,” Mr. Lamb said.
Bill Gates’ new favorite paperweight?
While it hasn’t been evaluated and appraised yet, you can be sure that this hunk of rock is worth a lot of money. In April, a 100-carat diamond sold for more than $22 million in New York, according to the BBC. This one’s more than eleven times as large, so chances are, it’s going to be Bill Gates’ new favorite paperweight.
“Given this stone is likely to be historically significant, the value could take on a life of its own and achieve significantly more—all flowing straight to Lucara’s bottom line,” noted Phil Swinfen, a former diamond-mining geologist who is now a Numis Securities analyst. “This is immensely good news for Lucara, perhaps the best week in the company’s history.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, the company’s shares were up 28% on Thursday afternoon following the discovery of the 1,111-carat diamond.