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World’s largest uncut diamond fails to sell at auction

The world’s largest uncut diamond was not sold today as expected.

The 1,109-carat stone is about the size of a tennis ball and was expected to sell for $70 million at a Sotheby’s auction in London.

“Despite having seen bidding in the salesroom, [the diamond] failed to reach its reserve price and consequently did not find a buyer tonight,” Sotheby’s said in a statement shortly after the auction concluded.

Sotheby’s did not say whether it would continue to search for a buyer. For now, the mining company Lucara Diamond Corporation will continue to own the diamond, known as Lesedi La Rona.

Meaning “Our Light” in the Botswanan language Tswana, Lesedi La Rona was unearthed in November. Sotheby’s jewelry division chairman David Bennett called the diamond “the find of a lifetime.”

“No rough even remotely of this scale has ever been offered before at public auction,” he said in a statement.

The Lesedi La Rona is the largest diamond to be found in over a century.

Sotheby’s said the last time a diamond this large was found was in 1905, when miners discovered the 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond near Pretoria, South Africa.

A study by the Gemological Institute of America also indicates that the Lesedi La Rona’s color and transparency puts it in a rare category that makes up less than 2 percent of all gem diamonds.

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