Botswana is a land of a thousand wonders. In addition to its magnificent landscapes, with the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Delta, this African country is also known for its diamond production. And Botswana has not failed to live up to its reputation.
The third largest diamond in the world
On 1 June this year, a huge stone was found in the town of Jwaneng by the Debswana Diamond Company. This joint venture between the Botswana government and diamond conglomerate De Beers is the world's largest diamond producer by value. The 1,098-carat diamond is 73mm long, 52mm wide and 27mm thick, with an approximate value of £40 million.
Lynette Armstrong, director of the diamond company, declared:
This is believed to be the third largest stone found in the world. This rare and extraordinary stone... means so much in the context of diamonds and Botswana. It brings hope to the struggling nation.
The government, which receives up to 80% of the revenue from Debswana's sales in the form of dividends, royalties and taxes, is also delighted with the discovery.
The company's president said:
We have not yet decided whether to sell this diamond through the De Beers channel or through the state-owned Okavango Diamond Company.
However, a spokesperson said Debswana would sell the diamond in a way that 'ensures that it brings maximum benefit to the people of Botswana.'
The largest diamonds in the world
Although this as yet unnamed diamond is huge, it is only the third largest diamond in the world. It is surpassed by two other exceptional stones.
The largest diamond in the world was discovered in South Africa in 1905. Its size: 3,106 carats! It was named Cullinan after the founder of the mine, Thomas Cullinan. It was purchased by the Transvaal Colony Government and presented to the then King of England, Edward VII.
The second largest diamond in the world was discovered in 2015 in north-eastern Botswana. Its size: 1,109 carats, the size of a tennis ball. Named Lesedi La Rona, it was sold to British jeweller Graff for £40 million in 2017.