Botswana Discovers World’s Fifth-Largest Diamond

Debswana, a diamond mining company in Botswana has unearthed a 1,098-carat stone described as the third-largest stone of gem quality and the fifth-largest diamond in the world.

The stone which measures 73mm long, 52mm wide and 27mm thick is the biggest stone of gem quality to be found in the history of Debswana, a joint venture between the government and global diamond giant De Beers.

Biggest Diamonds Discovered

The world largest diamond was the Sergio (carbonado in Portuguese), discovered above ground in Lençóis (State of Bahia, Brazil) in 1895. It weighed 3,167-carats.

The second-largest diamond was the 3,106-carat Cullinan which was discovered at the Premier No.2 mine in Cullinan in South Africa on January 26 1905.

The third-largest diamond in history was 1,758-carat  Sewelô found in the Karowe diamond mine in Botswana in 2019.

The fourth-largest diamond is the  Lesedi La Rona extracted at the Karowe diamond mine in Botswana in November 2015.

The yet-to-be-named stone which weighs 1,098-carat would be the fifth-largest diamond in the world found in Botswana – one of the biggest diamond producing country in the world.

The Minerals Minister, Lefoko Moagi, said the stone which was discovered on June 1 could not have been discovered at a better time after the COVID-19 pandemic hit diamond sales in 2020.

Production at the company fell 29 percent in 2020 to 16.6m carats while sales fell 30 percent to $2.1bn as the pandemic impacted both production and demand.

However, this year, as the global diamond market recovers with the easing of travel restrictions and reopening of jewelers, Debswana is actualizing its plans to increase output by as much as 38 percent to pre-pandemic levels of 23m carats.

The Botswana government receives as much as 80 percent of the income from Debswana’s sales through dividends, royalties and taxes.

Patsy Nwogu

Reporting on data-driven featured stories and investigations.

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