05 May 2016

On the Block: The Lesedi La Rona Diamond

The Lesedi La Rona Diamond, which will be auctioned in June (Photo: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

At the end of June, a once-in-a-lifetime jewelry auction will take place in London. Sotheby's will offer the Lesedi La Rona Diamond, the second-largest gem-quality diamond ever discovered, for sale in a standalone auction. (The largest gem-quality diamond ever discovered? Still the Cullinan. Before it was cut, that diamond weighed a whopping 3100 carats. This one is about a third of that size.)

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The diamond was discovered in November in the Karowe mine in Botswana. The mine is owned by the Canadian-based Lucara Diamond corporation. A contest was held in Botswana to name the 1,109 carat gem. The winning name, "Lesedi La Rona," means "our light."

Photo: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

The diamond's estimated auction price is $70 million. The gem is still in its rough state, so whoever purchases it will have to undertake the massive project of cutting and polishing the stone. To give you an idea of the massive size of the diamond, many outlets have been comparing it to a tennis ball. Can you imagine???

Here's video from the press preview, where you can see the uncut diamond already managing to sparkle a bit.