From afar, Botswana’s diamond mines look like barren construction sites sunk into rocky hills. At their base, hulking excavation machines turn over what appear to be nothing more than piles of dirt.
Yet within this “rubble” are some of the world’s most valuable precious stones — including, as of this week, a 1,111-carat diamond.
Lucara Diamond Corp., a diamond producer based in Vancouver, announced this week the discovery of the largest diamond found in more than a century. The stone, which is the size of a human palm, was recovered from the Karowe Mine in Botswana.
In known history, the find is second only to the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond.
The week’s good fortune also included the discovery of two more “exceptional” white diamonds, an 813-carat stone and a 374-carat stone.
There hasn’t yet been a price evaluation on the 1,111-carat stone. In April, the BBC reported, a 100-carat diamond was sold by Sotheby’s for $22.1 million.