Sept. 26 (UPI) — British jeweler Graff Diamonds announced Tuesday it paid $53 million to buy the world’s second-largest diamond, a gem about the size of a tennis ball found in Botswana.
The purchase of the 1,109-carat rough stone, called the Lesedi La Rona diamond, came after more than a year of negotiations.
Canadian mining company Lucara Diamond attempted to sell the diamond last year through Sotheby’s, but the auction was called off after it fetched only $61 million of the $70 million reserve price, Fortune reported.
“Our highly skilled team of master craftsmen will draw on many years of experience of crafting the most important diamonds, working night and day to ensure that we do justice to this remarkable gift from Mother Nature,” founder Laurence Graff said in a statement. “The stone will tell us its story, it will dictate how it wants to be cut, and we will take the utmost care to respect its exceptional properties.”
Graff said the stone is the largest gem-quality rough diamond to be unearthed in past 100 years.