The diamond mining sector has been feeling more pain lately than many others. Unlike precious metals, diamond companies have had to deal with lab-grown synthetic diamonds encroaching on an already depressed market.
However, recent discoveries of some truly gigantic diamonds in mines around the world have lifted spirits and made for good publicity for an industry suffering from oversupply and low prices.
Going Large In Angola
Australian diamond miner Lucapa recently announced that a 404.2 carat diamond was hauled out of its Lulo mine in Angola. The company says that it is the largest diamond ever found in Angola, and estimates its value at up to $14 million. It joins three other diamonds weighing 100 carats or more that have been unearthed at Lulo in the last year.
Big Rocks In Botswana
Lucara Diamond found what is believed to be the second-largest diamond in the world, at its Karowe mine in Botswana. The 1,111 carat behemoth is the largest diamond found since 1905. Proving that the discovery was no fluke, another monster diamond was found the next day. Weighing 813 carats, it capped an astounding week for Lucara. William Lamb, President and CEO, commented, "I am truly at a loss for words. This has been an amazing week for Lucara with the recovery of the second largest and also the sixth largest gem quality diamonds ever mined." Two other diamonds weighing over 300 carats were also found last year.
The 1.111kt diamond, which was discovered in November, was back in the news this week, when the winner of the "name this largest diamond ever found in our country" contest was announced. The winning name, “Lesedi La Rona," means "Our Light" in the native language of Botswana. The winner walked away with a $2.200 prize.
Russia: Strong in Diamonds!
Lest you think all the large diamonds in the world are in Africa, let's introduce Russia's Alrosa Diamonds. The world's largest diamond miner in carats, it is consistently hauling huge diamonds from its Jubilee operation in northeast Russia.
The latest eye-popping find happened this month, when a huge 121.96 carat diamond came out of the ground on February 11th. Estimated at $1.5 million, it has some small inclusions that will be removed when the stone is cut. Last year's tally of large diamonds included a 76 carat octahedral diamond in May a 103 carat diamond in September, and a 105.6 carat octahedral diamond in December.
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