Lucara Diamond Corp (TSE:LUC) shares were at an all-time high after it was revealed the tennis ball-sized Lesedi la Rona could fetch more than £50mln when it goes under the hammer at Sotherby’s next month.
The 1,109 carat diamond, which is around 3bn years old, was unearthed by Lucara at its Karowe mine in Botswana last November.
Chairman of Sotheby's jewellery division David Bennett said the discovery was "the find of a lifetime" and its auction would be unprecedented.
If it reaches its guide price, the stone will smash the world record as the most expensive diamond sold at auction.
A diamond named Blue Moon sold at Sotherby’s last year for £32mln and is the current title holder.
A Hong Kong billionaire bought the blue gem as a gift for his seven year old daughter.
The diamond’s name, Lesedi la Rona - which means “our light” in Setswana, the native language of Botswana - was chosen from 11,000 entries as part of a nationwide competition.
It is the second largest diamond to have been discovered, dwarfed only by the one that sits alongside the crown jewels. The 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond, unearthed in South Africa in 1905, now forms part of the Royal Sceptre.
The auction is set for 29 June and Lesedi la Rona will be on display in London later this month.
The Karowe mine in Botswana is fast becoming the world's leading source of top quality gems.
Shares in Lucara rose 9% to CAN$3.50, the highest it’s ever been.
--UPDATE SHARE PRICE--