Botswana-based Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) on Wednesday unveiled “the biggest blue diamond discovery ever made” in Botswana – an oval-shaped blue diamond weighing in at over 20 ct.
The Gemological Institute of America has graded the stone as an oval brilliant cut of 20.46 ct, with a fancy deep blue colour and at VVS2 clarity.
The diamond was discovered at Botswana’s Orapa mine as a 41.11 ct rough stone.
“From the first moment we saw the diamond, it was clear we had something very special. Everyone who has viewed the 20 ct polished diamond has marvelled at its unique colouration, which many see as unlike any blue stone they have seen before,” ODC MD Marcus ter Haar enthused.
He dubbed the diamond’s unusual colour and nature a “once-in-a-lifetime” find, adding that it is “about as rare as a star in the Milky Way”.
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.
“At ODC, we have access to 15% of Debswana's run-of-mine production and feel extremely fortunate to be involved in such a singular find. 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,” Ter Haar added.
According to ODC CFO Lipalesa Makepe, ethical sourcing is becoming more crucial with ethical consumerism on the rise.
“We are conscious of how important ethically sourced natural diamonds are to the public and are, therefore, fortunate that our diamond resources are managed responsibly in a manner that puts the people of Botswana first,” she said, adding that “consumers can purchase Botswana diamonds with a sense of pride knowing that these diamonds are improving the lives of the people of Botswana”.
The polished stone has been named the Okavango Blue in recognition of Botswana’s own environmental natural treasure and World Heritage site the Okavango Delta.
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.