Botswana has discovered what experts believe to be the third largest diamond in the world, as the gem market has recovered from a pandemic sales slump.
The diamond excavated by Debswana, a joint venture between the government and De Beers, weighs 1,098 carats, making it the largest discovery in the world since the excavation of the Resedira Rona stone in 2015.
In the United States, diamond jewelery sales recovered as the economy recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic. According to people familiar with the event, it pushed up the price of rough diamonds, raising the price of this week’s De Beers sales event by 5%.
“The market is very hot,” said Ash Aggarwal, a partner at diamond consultancy Gemdax. “We have seen strong consumer demand. Between Covid and the blockade, we have seen consumers shift from experiential consumption to personal belongings, which helped the diamond market.”
According to the Natural Diamond Council, an industry-backed organization, sales of diamond jewelery in the United States, the world’s largest market, increased by 30% between the same period last year and March-May.
At the same time, the world’s largest diamond miners have cut about one-fifth of their supply compared to pre-Covid levels to support prices, according to Citi analysts.
Rough diamond prices rose 14.5% this year as of mid-June, according to diamond analyst Paul Jimnisky.
The price of the diamond found at the Juwanen mine in Botswana on June 1 is not yet estimated, but the Resedira Rona diamond sold for $ 53 million in 2017.
Last year, diamond miner Lucara sold out From 1,758 carats of diamonds found in Botswana to Louis Vuitton. However, the selling price is not shown.
“Debswana will work with the Government of the Republic of Botswana and De Beers to evaluate and sell diamonds to maximize the benefits to the people of Botswana,” the company said.
Debswana, Botswana’s largest private employer and state’s main source of income, has been intertwined with national history for half a century.
President Mokgweetsi Masisi, who hugged a diamond at a ceremony in the capital city of Gaborone this week, said the discovery of Juwanen was “a symbol of Botswana.”
The Maxixe administration is calling on diamond miners to give the country further cuts from sales, including support to make Botswana a larger hub for higher value activities such as polishing and trading.
“The development needs of our country will be partially met by the revenue of diamonds,” said Maxixe. “We tax the company well, they pay royalties, reward workers and distribute resources through the systems needed to develop the country.”
De Beers said the diamond occupies its place in history “as one of the best diamonds ever discovered.”
The largest diamond ever discovered was the Cullinan diamond, unearthed in South Africa in 1905. At 3,106 carats, the diamond was chopped and incorporated into the British crown jewels.
Botswana discovered the third largest diamond as the market recovered
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