Louis Vuitton just bought the world’s second-largest diamond.
It is reported that the 1, 758-carat rough diamond, which was recovered by Lucara Diamond Corp in Botswana last April, is dark in color and about the size of a tennis ball. The mining company named it “Sewelô,” meaning “rare find” in the Tswana language. It is said that the diamond is the largest mined by Lucara from its Botswana operations in recent years, beating its previous discoveries of a 472-carat and a 327-carat diamond recovered in 2018.
According to a press release, Lucara and the HB company, a Belgian diamond manufacturer, have now “entered into a collaboration” with Louis Vuitton to polish and manufacture a number of smaller jewels from the Sewelô diamond.
“The purpose of this unprecedented collaboration between a miner, a cutting-edge manufacturer and a large luxury brand will be the planning, cutting and polishing of a collection of diamonds from Sewelô,” stated the press release.
The release didn’t disclose the value of the agreement, though it revealed that Lucara would receive an up-front payment and keep a 50% stake in the diamonds produced from the uncut stone.
A further 5% of the resulting sales will be invested back into Lucara’s community initiatives in Botswana, the company said.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Louis Vuitton, the famous luxury house, to transform the historic, 1, 758-carat Sewelô, Botswana’s largest diamond, into a collection of fine jewellery that will commemorate this extraordinary discovery and contribute direct benefits to our local communities of interest in Botswana,” said Lucara CEO Eira Thomas.
It is further reported that the final value of the Sewelô diamond will be dictated by several factors, not just the size, but also the color, clarity and how it can be cut.
According to The Guardian, Louis Vuitton’s purchase is just the latest move its parent company, LVMH, has taken into the luxury jewelry market. The conglomerate also owns Italian jewelry brand Bulgari and watchmakers TAG Heuer and Hublot, and in November, it acquired the iconic New York jeweler Tiffany & Co. for more than $16 billion.
Even though the diamond is said to be bigger than a tennis ball, it still does not measure up to the record-holder; the 3, 016.75-carat Cullinan Diamond, discovered in South Africa in 1905.