Botswana unveils rare diamond

The oval-shaped diamond has been named “The Okavango Blue” in honour of the Okavango Delta.

A 20.46 carat precious rock has been unveiled in Botswana. It is the biggest blue diamond ever discovered in Southern Africa. At the unveiling on Wednesday, state-owned Okavango Diamond Company, says the rarest stone in the world sits in the very top bracket of all-time historical blue diamond finds.

The oval-shaped diamond has been named “The Okavango Blue” in honour of the Okavango Delta, the country’s wildlife-rich world heritage site. In 2016, a massive intense blue diamond, known as The Cullinan Dream sold for $24.5 million at a Christie’s auction in New York, breaking all records and becoming the most expensive gem of its kind ever sold at auction.

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Last year, a 6.16-carat blue diamond, secretly passed down through European royalty over three centuries, fetching $6.7million at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva — $1.4 million more than what experts expected it to sell for.  

Botswana is one of the world’s largest producers of diamonds, accounting for about 80 per cent of its exports as a main revenue source. For Okavango Diamond Company Managing director, Marcus ter Haar, it is little surprise that blue diamonds are so sought after around the world as only a very small percentage of the world’s diamonds are classified as “fancy coloured”.

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