Lucara Diamond Corp. plans to sell the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona in the first half of next year, after the rough diamond failed to find a buyer at a Sotheby’s auction in June.
The stone, which is the second largest rough diamond ever recovered, is currently undergoing analysis to determine the most valuable way it can be polished. Lucara expects the analysis will be completed midway through the first quarter before it initiates another sales process.
The stone will not be placed on auction again, William Lamb, Lucara's president and CEO stressed in an email to Rapaport News. The diamond missed its reserve price at a Sotheby's sale in June, as the highest bid came in at $61 million, versus an estimate of more than $70 million, or $63,120 per carat.
“We have not yet determined the best mechanism for the sales event. It will not be an auction,” Lamb said. The most likely format will be a single bid offer, which may or may not be sealed, Lamb added. He also ruled out partnering with another company as Lucara did when it sold the 813-carat Constellation diamond by retaining a 10 percent interest in the stone.
“We have had a significant number of people continue to show interest in the stone,” Lamb reported. Only those diamantaires who have directly requested it will be given the data ahead of an “exclusive sales event.”
“We do not have a time for when this will occur but the hope is that we will be able to finalize its sale within the first half of 2017,” Lamb said.
Image: Donald Bowers/Getty Images for Sotheby's