Louis Vuitton snags world’s second-largest rough diamond

Gigantic gem will be transformed into fine-jewelry collection

Louis Vuitton, the 166-year-old French luxury label, is expanding its stake in the high-end jewelry market with the purchase of the second-largest rough diamond in human history.

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After the stone is cut and polished by HB Co., a diamond manufacturer in Antwerp, Belgium, it will be transformed into a collection of jewelry, further broadening parent company LVMH's expansion in the jewelry market with its $16.2 billion acquisition of Tiffany & Co.

The 1,758-carat Sewellô gem was unearthed by Lucara Diamond Corp. from a mine in Botswana last April.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
LVMUYLVMH MOËT HENNESSY LOUIS VUITTON SE88.02-0.98-1.10%
LUCRFLUCARA DIAMOND CORP.0.63-0.00-0.03%

The jewelry collection developed from it "will commemorate this extraordinary discovery and contribute direct benefits to our local communities of interest in Botswana," Eira Thomas, president and CEO of Lucara, said in a statement.

Sewellô, which means “rare find” in Setswana, is the second diamond larger than 1,000 carats to be recovered from the Karowe Diamond Mine over the past four years and the biggest ever found in Botswana,  Lucara announced Thursday.

The worth of the gem hasn't been revealed but, according to Lucara, its "full potential" will be discovered after the manufacturing process is complete.

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In the deal, Lucara will receive an upfront non-material payment for the Sewelô and a 50 percent stake in the individual polished diamonds that result from it.

Five percent of all proceeds from the historic collection will be invested into Botswana, through community-based initiatives undertaken by Lucara, the company announced.

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