The Canadian Press – A three-billion-year-old diamond the size of a tennis ball could fetch more than C$90 million when the Canadian mining company that unearthed it puts the rock up for auction this summer.
But the first person to lay eyes on the whopping gem barely gave it a glance, the CEO of Vancouver-based Lucara Diamond Corp. recalled Wednesday, as the eye-popping estimate for the precious stone was issued by auctioneer Sotheby’s.
“He’d only been working for us for two weeks, so he sees the thousand carats and goes ‘oh, this must be normal,’” William Lamb told The Canadian Press. “He didn’t tell anybody. It was only when the chief saw it that there was this huge commotion on site.” The diamond was unearthed in November, at the Karowe mine in Botswana that’s owned by Lucara (TSX:LUC).
After being closely examined, it was found to measure 1,109 carats, making it the second-largest gem-quality rough diamond ever discovered. The only bigger diamond found to date was the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond, unearthed in South Africa in 1905. It was cut into nine pieces that form part of the U.K. Crown Jewels.
The Cullinan diamond, however, was found when a mine worker noticed something glinting in the side of a pit, grabbed a ladder and started chipping around it with a pen knife, said Lamb.
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