DURBAN – A remarkable oval-shaped blue diamond weighing over 20 carat, has been unveiled to the world by Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) in Gaborone, Botswana.
The precious stone is the biggest blue diamond discovery ever made in Botswana.
The Botswana sourced, natural diamond’s striking colour has been graded as a Type IIb ‘Fancy Deep Blue’. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA), has graded the diamond as an Oval Brilliant Cut, VVS2 clarity making it one of the highest polished colour classifications attainable for any blue diamond and at 20.46 carats it sits in the very top bracket of all-time historical blue diamond finds.
The diamond was discovered at Botswana’s 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 1-3 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. 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," said Marcus ter Haar, Managing Director of Okavango Diamond Company.
"It is little surprise blue diamonds are so sought after around the world as only a very small percentage of the world’s diamonds are classified as fancy colour and, of those, only a select few can be classified as being Fancy Blue. 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," said ter Haar.
Diamonds are a key natural resource for Botswana, which is a global leader of ethically and responsibly sourced diamonds. Diamonds account for approximately half of government revenue and contribute to the economic growth and wellbeing of the entire country through employment creation, the funding of schools and hospitals and other critical infrastructure.
Botswana 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 the people of Botswana.
The polished stone is named ‘The Okavango Blue’ in recognition of Botswana’s own environmental natural treasure and World Heritage site the Okavango Delta. It is further a symbol of Okavango Diamond Company, the diamond sales and marketing arm of the Botswana government.
The iconic Okavango Blue will be showcased over the coming months to promote Botswana as a leading global producer of natural ethical diamonds with an anticipated sale toward the end of the year.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE