VANCOUVER: A tennis ball-sized rough diamond unearthed nearly two years ago by Canada’s Lucara Diamond Corp has been sold for $53 million, the Vancouver-based company said on Monday.
The 1,109-carat stone, which is the world’s largest uncut diamond, was bought by high-profile British diamond dealer Graff Diamonds for $47,777 per carat, and will now be cut and polished, Lucara said in a statement.
The price paid was an “improvement” on the highest bid received for the diamond at a Sotheby’s auction in June 2016, Lucara Chief Executive and President William Lamb said. Lamb had gambled that ultra-rich collectors, who buy and sell precious artworks for record-breaking sums at auction, would do the same with a diamond in the raw.
The unprecedented bet failed when bids did not meet the auction reserve price and the diamond was not sold. Lamb said in July the unsold stone “weighs heavily” on the company’s stock, which is down more than 40 percent in the past year.