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Largest diamond in more than 100 years found in Botswana

SIZE MATTERS: The stone measures 65mm x 56mm x 40mm in size [Photo credit: Lucara Diamond]

THE BIGGEST diamond to be found in more than a century has been discovered at a mine in Botswana, a Canadian mining company has said.

The 1,111-carat stone was recovered from its Karowe mine, about 500km (300 miles) north of the capital, Gaborone and is the second-largest gem quality diamond that has been discovered in Botswana, the Lucara Diamond firm says.

It is the biggest diamond to be discovered in Botswana, according to the BBC.

It comes second to the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond which was found in South Africa in 1905 and cut into nine separate stones, many of which are in the British Crown Jewels.

"The significance of the recovery of a gem quality stone larger than 1,000 carats, the largest for more than a century... cannot be overstated," William Lamb, the CEO of Lucara Diamond, a Canadian diamond producer, said in a statement.

Lucara said two other "exceptional" white diamonds - an 813-carat stone and a 374-carat stone - were also found at the Karowe mine.

"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," Lamb said.

The 65mm x 56mm x 40mm stone is yet to be evaluated, but one commodities and mining analyst said it had the potential to be “one very expensive diamond”.

“Valuation will depend on potential inclusions, how it would behave in cutting, optimal shape as well as final colour. All these things will need to be evaluated prior to bidding,” Kieron Hodgson said.

Botswana is the world's largest producer of diamonds and the trade has transformed it into a middle-income nation.

Shares in the company jumped 34 per cent to 14.2 kronor in Thursday morning (Nov 19) trading.

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