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Diamond
Diamonds and Gems  
5 December 2017

Botswana diamond makes the cut for royal engagement

Prince Harry's ring selection proves that Botswana is recognised worldwide for producing some of Africa's most sparkling diamonds.

It is without a doubt known that Southern Africa is home to some of the largest diamond finds in the world. More specifically Botswana is known for its volume of diamonds since the 1980s.

Prince Harry recently chose a diamond from Botswana because of his special relationship with the area since childhood and spending time in the country with his new fiance' Meghan Markle.

Harry proposed with a three stone diamond engagement ring which the prince himself designed, a glittering central stone from Botswana and two others from the collection of the prince’s mother, Princess Diana, who died in 1997.

Diamond

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with her new trilogy diamond ring.

History of diamonds

Since the early 1980s, Botswana has been the world's largest producer of gem diamonds. Four large diamond mines have opened since independence.

In 1967, the year after Botswana gained its independence from Britain, a huge diamond mine was discovered in a remote area called Orapa, about 250 miles from the capital city of Gaborone.

The company that found the mine was De Beers, which was then — as it is now — the dominant seller of “rough stones” in the world.

Botswana is recognised on the list of top 10 diamond mines in the world of which Orapa is fourth and Jwaneng first.

Jwaneng produced 11 975 000 carats, worth US$2 347 million in 2016 and in 2017 a production estimate of 12 000 000 carats.

Orapa produced 7 931 000 carats, worth us$753 million in 2016 and a production estimate of 7 200 000 carats in 2017.

Buying diamonds

Reuters recently reported that Botswana is amending its law to give government first option to buy diamonds that are “unusually large or have other unusual features found in its mines.

A draft bill amending the Precious and Semi-Precious Stones Act now stipulates that should anyone come into possession of an “unusual” rough or uncut diamond must notify the minister within 30 days.

This will then give government the first option to buy the stone.

The bill has not specified the definition of “unusual”.

Reuters cites an official who told a local newspaper that it refers to stones that are also “particularly clear or had an unusual colour”.

The amendment was apparently inspired by the recovery of Lucara Diamond Corp.’s Lesedi La Rona stone at the Karowe mine – the world’s second largest diamond at 1 109 carats.

Feature image credit: Buzz express https://www.buzzexpress.co.uk/ 

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