Botswana breaks own diamond record with new discovery

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A huge rough diamond, an impressive stone with a silvery sheen that fits in the palm of a hand, was discovered in June in Botswana, the Canadian company Lucara said Wednesday.

The 1,174-carat gem, discovered on June 12, steals third place on the podium of the world's largest diamonds from another exceptional stone found a few days earlier, on June 1, in the same country but by another mining company.

This is a "historic discovery, for us and for Botswana as well," commented Lucara's Managing Director, Naseem Lahri. "In the hierarchy of large stones, it ranks third," she proudly told AFP, during its presentation to the government in Gaborone.

This latest discovery reinforces Botswana's position as a leader on the world's largest stone scene, with six of the world's largest diamonds.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi hailed this "fascinating moment" and the increasing frequency of diamond discoveries in the country.

The 1,098-carat diamond discovered on June 1 belongs to the Debswana company, jointly owned by the government and South African diamond maker De Beers.

And the largest known diamond is the "Cullinan", over 3,100 carats, discovered in South Africa in 1905.

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