Botswana’s Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) says it has recovered an oval shaped blue diamond weighing over 20 carats, the biggest such stone ever discovered in the country.
The natural diamond’s striking colour has been graded ‘fancy deep blue’ and the Gemological Institute of America has graded it an oval brilliant cut, VVS2 clarity, one of the highest polished colour classifications attainable for any blue diamond. At 20.46 carats it sits in the very top bracket of all-time historical blue diamond finds.
ODC said the diamond was discovered at Orapa mine as a 41.11 carat rough stone. Its unique and vibrant blue colour is created by the molecular inclusion of the rare mineral boron which between one billion and three billion years ago was present in the rocks of ancient oceans during violent diamond forming volcanic activity.
“From the first moment we saw the diamond, it was clear we had something very special,” ODC managing director Marcus ter Haar said.
“Everyone who has viewed the 20 carat polished diamond has marvelled at its unique colouration which many see as unlike any blue stone they have seen before. It is incredibly unusual for a stone of this colour and nature to have come from Botswana – a once-in-lifetime find, which is about as rare as a star in the Milky Way.”
“At ODC we have access to 15 percent of Debswana’s run-of-mine production and feel extremely fortunate to be involved in such a singular find. Only a handful of similar blue stones have come to market during the last decade, of which the Okavango Blue rightfully takes its place as one of the most significant,” ter Haar added.
Diamonds are a key natural resource for Botswana, accounting for approximately half of government revenue.
The southern African country is fast being transformed into a leading global natural diamond trading and manufacturing centre, with strong emphasis placed on transparency, good governance and the creation of broad-based business opportunities for its people.
The polished stone is named ‘The Okavango Blue’ in recognition of Botswana’s environmental natural treasure and World Heritage site, the Okavango Delta.
It will be showcased over the coming months to promote the country as a leading global producer of natural ethical diamonds, with an anticipated sale toward the end of the year.
– African News Agency (ANA)