On June 1st, Botswanan diamond firm Debswana unearthed a 1,098-carat stone that it described as the third-largest of its kind in the world. The diamond was shown on Wednesday to President Mokgweetsi Masisi in the capital, Gaborone. It comes as no surprise as Botswana is Africa’s largest producer of diamonds.
Debswana is a joint venture between the government and global diamond giant De Beers and up to 80% of the income from sales goes to state coffers through dividends, royalties and taxes.
The huge gem is only slightly less heavy than the world’s second-largest diamond which was also found in Botswana in 2015. The biggest diamond ever discovered was the 3,106 carat Cullinan Diamond found in South Africa in 1905.
This is the largest diamond to be recovered by Debswana in its history of over 50 years in operation. From our preliminary analysis it could be the world’s third-largest gem-quality stone. We are yet to make a decision on whether to sell it through the De Beers channel or through the state-owned Okavango Diamond Company. The rare and extraordinary stone means so much in the context of diamonds and Botswana. It brings hope to a nation that is struggling.Lynette Armstrong, Debswana Diamond Company’s acting managing director.