LUCARA Diamond Corporation’s 1,758 carat diamond Sewelô, recovered at its Karowe operation in Botswana, would be cut, polished and turned into a collection of Louis Vuitton jewellery, the Toronto-listed company announced.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Louis Vuitton, the famous luxury House, to transform the historic, 1,758 carat Sewelô, Botswana’s largest diamond, into a collection of fine jewellery that will commemorate this extraordinary discovery and contribute direct benefits to our local communities of interest in Botswana,” said Eira Thomas, Lucara CEO.
However, it’s unclear how valuable the polished diamonds will be, said Bloomberg News referring to comments by Lucara management which said previously the Sewelô diamond was not the type of goods that yielded top jewellery-standard gems.
Lucara will get a “non material” upfront fee and own 50% of the polished diamonds from the Sewelô, or “rare find” in Tswana, said the newswire.
Louis Vuitton has been pushing into fine jewellery since opening a flagship store on Paris’s Place Vendôme — the famed district home to Cartier and Boucheron — and since tapping a new head jewellery designer, Francesca Amfitheatrof, it said.
Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner and Brokeback Mountain star Michelle Williams have posed for recent campaigns for necklaces and earrings often depicting the recognisable flowers from the Louis Vuitton 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 $53m. The mine has also yielded a 813-carat stone that fetched $63m. 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.