By Tim Binnall
A jaw-dropping 1,098-carat diamond has been unearthed in Botswana and it is believed to be the third-largest such gem ever discovered. The incredible find was reportedly made by diamond mining company Debswana at a site in the town of Jwaneng earlier this month and was presented to Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi at a special event on Wednesday. The massive stone measures around three inches long, two inches wide, and one inch thick.
The "rare and extraordinary stone," marveled Debswana acting managing director Lynette Armstrong, "brings hope to the nation that is struggling" due to a downturn in diamond sales brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Although the value of the diamond has yet to be determined, experts say it could be worth a staggering $55 million. And, since Debswana is a joint venture between the government of Botswana and DeBeers, the country will receive a sizeable portion of the profits, perhaps as much as 80 percent, from the eventual sale of the stunning stone.
To that end, Debswana said in a statement that they are working to determine the best avenue to sell the diamond in order to "ensure it returns maximum benefit for the people of Botswana." Remarkably, the newfound stone is a mere 11 carats short of the world's second-largest diamond ever found and both pale in comparison to the famed Cullinan diamond, which is a nearly unfathomable 3,106 carats. Ironically, news of the discovery comes as a veritable 'diamond rush' is unfolding in South Africa following the discovery of some mysterious stones thought to be the precious gems.