This summer on June 29th, Sotheby’s will be auctioning one of the largest rough diamonds ever found in London.  “Lesedi la Rona” translated as “Our Light” in the Botswana language of Tswana was found last year in Botswana at the Karowe Mine.  Weighing in at 1,190 carat it is second only to the famous Cullinan Diamond in terms of gem quality diamonds found.

The GIA has classed “Lesedi la Rona” as a type IIa diamond, the purest and most valued of diamonds which account for less than 2% of all mined diamonds.  Due to the size of the stone, conventional equipment could not be used to assess the stone, but experts say that once cut it has the potential to carry a “D” color classification, the highest for white diamonds.   Type IIa diamonds contain minimal nitrogen and boron impurities meaning they are absolutely colorless.  Famous examples of type IIa diamonds include the Cullinan, the Koh-i-Noor, and the Krupp Diamond.  The Krupp Diamond now known as the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond was bought by Richard Burton for just $300,000 and was auctioned for over $8,800,000 in 2011 a time when the value of type IIa diamonds was much more known than in the 1960s.

Expected to auction for $70,000,000 the “Lesedie la Rona” may smash previous diamond auction record held by the “Blue Moon”.  Estimated to be around 3 billion years old the “Lesedi la Rona” will become one of the most prized and beautiful diamonds once cut due to its size and purity.   The diamond world awaits with bated breath for the auction, and perhaps more importantly the unveiling of the final gem cut from the “Lesedi la Rona”.