Blesq Diamonds
17 January 2019

The Cullinan Diamond

The most expensive rough diamond of all time

We’d like to share our passion and expertise for diamonds with you, which is why we’ve created the Blesq diamonds blog – read on for gripping tales and exciting news about the most precious gemstone on Earth.

The diamond discovery of the century

It’s a truly magical event when a precious diamond, several billions of years old, is found after it’s made its long journey up from the mystical depths of the Earth’s core. In 2015, the Karowe mine in Botswana took the world by storm – not just once, but twice – after two record-breaking diamonds were discovered there. The ‘Lesedi La Rona’ (1,109 carats) and ‘The Constellation’ (813 carats) are two of the largest rough diamonds ever found, and were found on two consecutive days, on 16 and 17 November 2015!
The 21st century been unofficially named as ‘the new diamond century’. The phrase was coined in 2017 after the 910-carat ‘Letseng’ diamond was found in Lesotho.

The unique character of diamonds

Even though the Lesedi La Rona (meaning ‘our light’) weighs in at almost 300 carats heavier than The Constellation, it didn’t bring in quite the unbelievable record-breaking sum of money that The Constellation did when it was sold. Nevertheless, the 2,218 carat, type IIa diamond inspired its viewers to name it ‘Our Light’. The citizens of Botswana got the chance to name the diamond as part of a competition run by the Canadian mining company Lucara Diamond, which operates the mine. The winner of the competition received BWP 25,000 (Botswana Pula).
After a failed public auction at Sotherby’s, where no one was prepared bid the minimum amount of 70 million dollars, ‘Our Light’ was eventually sold for 53 million dollars – bought by the jeweller Laurence Graff, after a year of negotiations.

It can only be described as a once-in-a-lifetime miracle, finding two diamonds of this size in the same place within 24 hours of each other. But there is yet another level of wonder: the unique effect a diamond has on certain people. This phenomenon reveals the special, magical connection between humans and diamonds.
The Constellation diamond, at 813 carats (126.6 grams), may look like the little brother of the Lesedi La Rona diamond, but after selling for an unbelievable 63 million dollars, it’s clearly able to hold its own! It shines forth as the most expensive rough diamond of all time – and it keeps on shining.
Its fascinating clarity (type IIa) and one-of-a-kind nature left a very deep impression on the buyers from Dubai (Nemesis International DMCC). Maybe it reminded them of the sparkling canopy of stars over the undulating sand dunes, or of Dubai’s skyline, reflecting the first rays of the morning sun back into the heavens.

In 2017, The Constellation diamond changed hands to the Geneva-based luxury jeweller ‘de Grisogono’, who doesn’t want to tame this natural wonder, but rather perfectly capture it.

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