Shine Bright

Behold, the second largest diamond in the world

In the Karowe mine in Botswana last month, the second largest diamond in the world (thus far) was discovered. Described as ‘nearly the size of a tennis ball’ and weighing 1,111 carats (222.2g), the Karowe AK6 was unearthed with the aid of cutting-edge X-Ray technology.

The discovery was the highlight of a cache of huge white diamonds from the mine by Canada’s Lucara Diamond, which focuses on quarries in Botswana and Lesotho. Other stones found include a 374-carat gem and an 813-carat stone that is the sixth largest ever found. That, ordinarily, would make headlines, but the lustre of Karowe AK6 dominates all.

One of the most historically significant gemological finds in the last century, the Karowe AK6 is graded as a colourless, type IIa diamond. It will need to be cut and polished before being sold, at anticipated astronomical prices given its rare clarity and colour. Experts estimate that the diamond could fetch between US$40-60 million (RM171-260 million) based on historical trends. A 342-carat type IIa discovered in April 2015, also by Lucara, sold for US$20.55 million (RM88 million).

The largest diamond ever discovered is the 3,106-carat Cullinan, found in 1905 in South Africa. The Cullinan was then cut into several large polished gems, including the Great Star of Africa and the Second Star of Africa, both of which now form part of the Crown Jewels of the British monarchy.

Lucara Diamond

Sign up for our Newsletters

Stay up to date with our latest series