Botswanan diamond firm Debswana has said it unearthed a 1,098-carat stone that is described as the third-largest of its kind in the world.
The stone, found on June 1, was shown on Wednesday 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.”
The yet-to-be-named stone, which measures 73mm long, 52mm wide, and 27mm thick is also the biggest stone of gem quality to be found in the history of Debswana, 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.
Minerals Minister Lefoko Moagi said the discovery of the stone could not have come at a better time after the COVID-19 pandemic hit diamond sales in 2020, according to CGTN.