French fashion house Louis Vuitton has acquired a 549-carat stone unearthed at the Karowe Mine in Botswana – 10 months after purchasing the 1,758-carat Sewelô diamond, which was mined at the same site.
The new diamond has been named Sethunya, which means ‘flower’ in the local Setswana language. It was discovered in February 2020, a month after Louis Vuitton acquired the Sewelô, which is the largest diamond found in Botswana to date.
Both stones were mined by Canada’s Lucara Diamond Corporation (Lucara).
As part of the deal, the Sethunya diamond will be cut by HB Antwerp in collaboration with Louis Vuitton in order to create a personalised jewellery set for a customer.
A statement from Lucara explained, “Louis Vuitton envisages crafting beautiful, bespoke high-value polished stones of variable size and shape fashioned from this rare specimen to the client’s wishes: the ultimate personalised high jewellery experience and the opportunity to create a truly unique gem, a storied family heirloom.
“In this way, the client will be involved in the creative process of plotting, cutting, polishing, and becoming part of the story that the stone will carry with it into history.”
Eira Thomas, CEO Lucara, said the company was “extremely pleased to be building on the ground-breaking partnership established for the manufacturing of the Sewelô earlier this year”.
Following the Sethunya sale announcement, Lucara confirmed it had found another remarkable diamond – a 998-carat rough – at Karowe.
That stone will be sold directly to HB Antwerp as part of an overall deal to acquire all Lucara diamonds above 10.8 carats.
“Lucara is extremely pleased with the continued recovery of large, high-quality diamonds from the south lobe of the Karowe mine. To recover two [500-carat-plus] diamonds in 10 months, along with the many other high-quality diamonds across all the size ranges, is a testament to the unique aspect of the resource at Karowe,” Thomas said.
The 998-carat rough, the Sethunya, and the Sewelô are the latest in a string of large diamonds found at Karowe. In 2015, Lucara mined the 1,111-carat Lesedi La Rona – the second-largest Botswanan diamond – from the site; it was sold to jeweller Graff Diamonds for $US53 million ($AU77 million) two years later.
In 2016, Lucara sold the 813-carat Constellation diamond to Dubai-based Nemesis International for $US63.1 million ($AU86.8 million), setting a per-carat price record in the process.
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