Huge 1,098-carat diamond the size of fist is ‘one of largest ever found’

A massive diamond has been discovered in Botswana that's thought to be the third-largest of its kind in the world.

The incredible jewel was unearthed by miners in the Jwaneng mine in southern Botswana – believed to be the world's most valuable mine – and will be valued in a few weeks.

It is a remarkable 1,098 carat, the unit of measurement that experts use to describe the weight of a diamond.

Workers for the Debswana mining company made the find on June 1, described by the firm as the largest diamond ever discovered in its five decades of operation.

The newly discovered stone is yet to be named.

"This is the largest diamond to be recovered by Debswana in its history of over 50 years in operation," said Lynette Armstrong, Debswana Diamond Company's acting managing director.

"From our preliminary analysis it could be the world's third-largest gem-quality stone."

"We will work with the government of the Republic of Botswana and De Beers to value and sell the diamond to ensure it returns maximum benefit for the people of Botswana," said Debswana spokesperson Rachel Mothibatsela in a media statement.

Ms Armstrong said a decision had not yet been taken on whether to sell the "rare and extraordinary stone" through De Beers or through the state-owned Okavango Diamond Company.

In a tweet from the Botswana Government, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi said as is the norm, proceeds from the diamond's sale will be used to "advance national development" in the country.

It added that the President also said Debswana should use this latest discovery "as an inflection point", for the mine to "use its technology to realise more of these large discoveries".

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Botswana's Minerals Minister, Lefoko Moagi, said the latest find could not have come at a better time for Botswana after the pandemic caused diamond sales to slump last year.

"The Cullinan", found in South Africa, is still the largest rough diamond ever discovered.

It was 3,106.75 carats when it was found before it was cut up into smaller pieces, and was recently valued at $2billion (£1.4billion).

A 530-carat piece, the largest piece, was sent to England and is now housed on British Sovereign's Royal Sceptre.

It makes up part of the Crown Jewels of England kept in the Tower of London.

The second-largest diamond ever found, Lesedi La Rona, was sold for $53m (£39.5m) in 2017.

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