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Lucara's diamond smashes record with $63mln sale

“The Constellation” was recovered from Lucara’s Botswana mine in November last year.
A large diamond
It is the highest price ever for the sale of rough diamond

Lucara Diamond Corp (TSE:LUC) made history after its 813 carat diamond made US$63mln (£44mln), the highest price ever for the sale of a rough diamond.

The gem, named “The Constellation” was recovered last November from Lucara’s Karowe mine in Botswana.

As part of the sale, Lucara has partnered with Nemesis International DMCC, retaining a 10% interest in the net profit received from the sale of the resultant polished diamonds.

"We are very pleased with the result from the sale of this magnificent 813 carat diamond as well as the opportunity to further participate in profits earned when the polished product is sold,” said chief executive of Lucara William Lamb.

“It is an exceptional price for an exceptional stone,” said Kieron Hodgson, analyst at Panmure Gordon.

"But the uplift on polished stones is rarely disclosed, so we may never find out how much they earn from it, but the 10% uplift is now standard for producers of exceptional stones,” he explained.

The sale of "The Constellation" comes ahead of the sale of another monster stone found at the company's Karowe mine.

“We look forward to the next stage of Lucara's development with the sale of the spectacular Lesedi La Rona,” said Lamb.

At 1,111 carats the tennis ball sized Lesedi La Rona is the second largest diamond ever discovered.

“It looks like it will be a record breaker, but the sheer size of the diamond means the buyer will be taking a huge risk,” added Hodgson.

“No one has tried to cut and manufacture a stone of this size since the Cullinan over a century ago.”

The Cullinan diamond was discovered in South Africa in 1905. It was cut into nine large gem-quality stones and a number of smaller fragments by Asscher Brothers of Amsterdam in the presence of the Queen of Norway and other noble guests.

The sale of the Lesedi La Rona is expected to smash existing records when auctioned at Sotheby’s in London next month.

--UPDATE ANALYST COMMENT--

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