This Canadian company found the largest diamond in 100 years – by Steven Threndyle (Canadian Business Magazine – June 28, 2016)

Vancouver’s Lucara Diamond is auctioning off the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona diamond, and investors are betting on more exceptional finds

If you own stock in Lucara Diamond Corp. (TSX: LUC), chances are the date of June 29, 2016, looms large in your calendar. That’s the day when Lucara’s monster rough diamond—1,109 carats and “roughly the size of an avocado”—is going up for auction by Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division in London, England.

News of Lucara’s discovery of the Lesedi La Rona diamond (it was named in a national contest held in Botswana and translates into “our light” in the Tswana language) has helped invigorate a mining category that has languished in the wake of a global recession, not to mention a campaign by Blood Diamond star Leonardo DiCaprio to promote synthetic alternatives to alleviate working conditions of miners in Africa.

But you’d think all was forgotten in the euphoria following the cleaning and polishing of the second-largest diamond ever discovered, one that boasts an exceptional rating for clarity and quality.

For Vancouver-based Lucara, the discovery is the realization of a strategy involving a well-connected, highly experienced ownership and management team, a great location in the politically stable African country of Botswana and innovative technology. But the question on the lips of investors is simply, “Is there more where that came from?”

The diamond market has had a tumultuous run of late. All was good for decades, as the tradition of buying diamond engagement and wedding rings took off just after the Second World War, when newly employed GIs were told “A Diamond Is Forever” in a clever marketing campaign by South African miner De Beers.

America accounts for 40% of the world’s annual sales of diamonds—most of them purchased in the crucial holiday season between Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day. The North American tradition of presenting diamond engagement rings has now spread to China’s massive middle class too, and, after taking a hit during the recession, the American luxury economy is rebounding.

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