"When you’re selling your offcuts for almost $20 million, you know something is going right," writes Thomas Biesheuvel for BloombergPursuits. "Lucara Diamond Corp. just sold a 373.7-carat diamond for US$17.5 million. For a company that has been unearthing some of the world’s biggest and most expensive stones in the past few years that may sound less impressive, until you realise it’s a broken shard from the second- biggest diamond ever found." The stone was one of 15 single stone lots, ranging from 373.72 carats to 29.90 carats in size, totaling 1,765.72 carats and achieved gross revenues of US$54.8 Million (US$31,010 per carat), the company said in a statement Friday.
Lucara announced that it sold 7 diamonds for more than $2.0 million each, with Lot 1001, the 373.72 carat Type IIa diamond, selling for US$17.54 Million (US$46,935/ct). An additional three diamonds sold for more than $4.0 million including a 182.47 carat stone which sold for $6.3 million. The 373.72-carat stone was a very large chip broken off the 1,109-carat Lesedi la Rona diamond the company found in 2015, and which failed to sell at a Sotheby’s auction last year when the highest bid of $61 million didn’t clear the reserve price. As Lucara CEO William Lamb told The Diamond Loupe in May last year, had the stone not broken, it would have been closer to 1,500 carats, but it also would never have been recovered as it would have been too large to pass through the sieves and would have been crushed.
Mining Journal recently reported that Lucara is now in a battle to retain the Lesedi la Rona's D color. William Lamb told them, “There’s now questions around the color. [Between a] D and an E coloured stone is a 25% discount," he said, referring to the Lesedi’s stated categorisation of a D-coloured diamond with an 11A purity rating. "That’s the reason why we’ve got to now convince people. Is there an option to partner with somebody? Say, I asked for a E-colour stone, but if it comes out as a D, you’re going to pay us more. And those are the things we’re looking at, at the moment.”
On the special diamond sale itself, Lamb commented, "Now in its fifth year of production, Karowe continues to deliver strong, consistent, results from its Regular and Exceptional Tenders, demonstrating the robust nature of the orebody and the predictable contribution from large, high value diamonds (+10.8 carat specials) ... To date, the Company has sold 145 diamonds for more than US $1 Million each, bringing in revenues of greater than US$528 Million."