Botswanan diamond firm Debswana Diamond company said on Wednesday it had unearthed a 1,098-carat stone that it described as the third largest of its kind in the world.
The stone, found on June 1, was shown to President Mokgweetsi Masisi in the capital Gaborone.
“It is believed to be the third largest gem-quality find in the world,” said Debswana managing director Lynette Armstrong.
The “rare and extraordinary stone... means so much in the context of diamonds and Botswana,” she said. “It brings hope to the nation that is struggling.”
It also is the biggest stone of gem quality to be recovered in the history of the company, a joint venture between the government and global diamond giant De Beers.
The biggest diamond ever discovered in the world was the 3,106-carat Cullinan, found in South Africa in 1905.
The second largest was 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona — a diamond the size of a tennis ball, discovered at Karowe, northeastern Botswana, in 2015.
“This is the largest diamond to be recovered by Debswana in its history of over 50 years in operation,” Armstrong said.
“From our preliminary analysis it could be the world’s third largest gem-quality stone. We are yet to make a decision on whether to sell it through the De Beers channel or through the state owned Okavango Diamond Company.”
The “rare and extraordinary stone … means so much in the context of diamonds and Botswana,” she said. “It brings hope to a nation that is struggling.”