The record-breaking sale of the world’s second largest diamond may put a sparkle back in diamond prices

A sparkling recovery for the diamond industry.
A sparkling recovery for the diamond industry.
Image: Courtesy: Lucara Diamond
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The Constellation, an 813 carat rough diamond, has sold for a record-breaking $63 million. Lucara Diamond Corporation said Monday, May 9, that the impressive stone was bought by Dubai-based Nemesis International, a rough diamond trading company founded last year.

At roughly 407 times the size of the average engagement ring, the Constellation is the second largest diamond in the world. It sold for $77,649 per carat, and the deal gives Lucara 10% interest in the net profit from any polished diamonds cut from the Constellation in the future.

This sale is now fueling speculation about the outcome of sale of the world’s largest diamond, the tennis ball-sized Lesedi la Rona. It will go on auction at Sotheby’s London on June 29.

The Lesedi la Rona measures 1,111 carat. It is the second-largest diamond ever found (after the 3106 carat Cullinan diamond unearthed in South Africa in 1905). Applying the same per carat dollar price from the Constellation’s sale means the Lesedi la Rona could fetch $86 million, writes Bloomberg.

The Canadian Lucara Diamond Corporation had a bumper November last year, with three exceptional diamonds discovered at its mine in Botswana. Along with the Lesedi la Rona and the Constellation, a 374 carat white diamond was also mined. These discoveries saw the corporation’s stock price rise nearly 70% over the past three months, increasing sharply with yesterday’s sale.

Diamond prices dipped 18% last year, the worst drop since the 2008 financial crisis, according to Bloomberg. Lower global demand and an industry credit crunch also forced Botswana, one of the world’s top diamond-producing countries, to cut its economic outlook last year. The Constellation’s record price should be a welcome sign of recovery.