Canadian mining company Lucara claims to have discovered the world’s second-largest ever diamond, in a mine in Botswana.
The 1,111 carat diamond comes in at 65mm x 56mm x 40mm in size, nearly the dimensions of a baseball. It is the largest diamond stone to ever be recovered in Botswana, a country peppered with diamond mines. It is also the largest diamond recovered since 1905, when the legendary Cullinan diamond was unearthed in South Africa.
Back in August, Botswana said it expected much weaker demand for diamonds and slashed its economic outlook.
As Quartz reported at the time:
Diamond prices have fallen about 12% over the last five years. The industry had been counting on wealthy Indian and Chinese shoppers to make up for slowing demand elsewhere in the world, but a slowing Chinese economy and ongoing anti-corruption drive has dented enthusiasm for conspicuous jewelry. The sector accounted for 25% of Botswana’s GDP in 2013
Eight of the 10 largest diamonds ever discovered have been found in Africa: Four in South Africa and another two each in Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo. But African countries have a difficult history with diamond mining, particularly in countries like Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where diamonds have been shown to help fund conflict in those countries and others. In South Africa, diamond mining once helped support the oppressive apartheid political system.