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21 - 01 - 2020 Louis Vuitton buys record-breaking Botswana diamond
Mining company Lucara has announced French luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton has purchased the 1,758-carat Sewelô diamond, the largest diamond ever recovered in Botswana and the second largest of all time. The Sewelô – whose name means ‘rare find’ in the Setswana language – was unearthed in April 2019 from Lucara’s Karowe Diamond Mine. It has been characterised as variable quality, with domains of near-gem and gem-quality white diamond. Antwerp-based HB Company will cut the stone into several smaller diamonds, which will then be polished and set as jewellery, likely designed by Francesca Amfitheatrof, Louis Vuitton artistic director of watches and jewellery. Under the terms of the deal, Lucara will retain a 50 per cent financial interest in the collection, with 5 per cent of any retail sales generated to be invested into the mining company’s charitable initiatives in Botswana. Eira Thomas, CEO Lucara, 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.” The purchase price for the stone has not been disclosed. However, the second-largest Botswanan diamond, the 1,111-carat Lesedi La Rona – also mined from Karowe – sold for $US53 million ($AU77 million) to jeweller Graff Diamonds in 2017. Sewelô is believed to be the second-largest diamond ever unearthed behind the 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond, which was mined in South Africa in 1905. The Karowe Diamond Mine has also produced two fancy colour diamonds – including a rare pink diamond – in the last 12 months. Source: Jeweller 21-1-2020
 
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