The second-biggest diamond in history will be cut, polished and turned into a collection of Louis Vuitton jewelry.
Lucara Diamond Corp., which found the 1,758-carat Sewelo diamond at its Botswana mine last year, said it’s struck a deal with the luxury brand and Antwerp diamond manufacturer HB Company. It’s unclear how valuable the polished diamonds will be though, as Lucara previously said the Sewelo wasn’t a type of diamond that yields top jewelry standard gems.
Lucara will get a “non material” upfront fee and own 50% of the polished diamonds from the Sewelo, which means “rare find” in Tswana, a language spoken in Botswana, and is roughly the size of a tennis ball.
Louis Vuitton has been pushing into fine jewelry since opening a flagship store on Paris’s Place Vendome — the famed district home to Cartier and Boucheron — and since tapping a new head jewelry designer, Francesca Amfitheatrof.
Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner and Brokeback Mountain star Michelle Williams have posed for recent campaigns for necklaces and earrings often depicting the recognizable flowers from the LV monogram.
In 2015, Lucara found the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona, which at the time was the second-largest ever and eventually sold for $53 million. The mine has also yielded a 813-carat stone that fetched a record $63 million. Those two gems were both much more valuable Type-IIa stones.
The biggest diamond discovered is the 3,106-carat Cullinan, found near Pretoria in South Africa in 1905. It was cut into several polished gems, the two largest of which — the Great Star of Africa and the Lesser Star of Africa — are set in the Crown Jewels of Britain.