In a move that signifies Louis Vuitton’s determination to enter the luxury jewelry market, the French brand has now acquired the world’s second-biggest diamond.
Watch to learn more about the diamond below.
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Video credit: Rumble
Lucara Diamond Corp recovered the 1,758-carat rough diamond in Botswana last April. The diamond has a dark color and roughly fits your palm. It was named “Sewelô” by the mining company which in the southern African Tswana language means “rare find.”
According to a recent press release, Lucara together with the HB company, a diamond manufacturer from Belgium, has “entered into a collaboration” with Louis Vuitton for the manufacture and polishing of several smaller jewels that will be sourced from the Sewelô diamond.
The press release stated, “The purpose of this unprecedented collaboration between a miner, a cutting-edge manufacturer and a large luxury brand will be the planning, cutting and polishing of a collection of diamonds from Sewelô,” while adding that it will be only after polishing that the stone’s “full potential” will be revealed.
Nothing was mentioned about the value of the agreement but the statement did mention that Lucara would get an up-front payment and have a 50% stake in the resulting diamonds that will be produced from the uncut stone. Apart from that, 5% of the subsequent sales will be channeled into Lucara’s community initiatives in Botswana.
Eira Thomas, Lucara CEO, said in a press statement, “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 jewelry that will commemorate this extraordinary discovery and contribute direct benefits to our local communities of interest in Botswana.”
This latest purchase by Louis Vuitton is just part of a larger bid by the parent company LVMH to consolidate its entry into the luxury jewelry market. The conglomerate already owns Italian jewelry brand Bulgari and watchmakers TAG Heuer and Hublot. In November, the company also acquired Tiffany & Co, the iconic New York jeweler, for upwards of $16 billion.
The Sewelô diamond displaced the 1,111-carat Lesedi La Rona as the second-largest diamond in history. Incidentally, the Lesedi La Rona was also discovered in the same mine in Botswana.
The biggest diamond ever was the 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond which was unearthed in South Africa in 1905. The Cullinan was eventually cut apart into smaller stones, some of which made it into the British royal family’s crown jewels.
Several factors will determine the final value of the Sewelô diamond. Apart from the size, color, clarity, and how it can be cut also need to be taken into consideration.
While Louis Vuitton and Lucara have not set a price on the stone, previous sales suggest an amount in the tens of millions of dollars. Luxury jeweler Graff Diamonds bought the Lesedi La Rona for $53 million in 2017.