1,111 ct. Diamond Named ‘Lesedi La Rona’

Gaborone: The 1,111-carat diamond recovered by Lucara Diamond Corp. in Botswana in November has been named ‘Lesedi La Rona’ following a competition among locals to label the gem.

The name, which means ‘Our Light,’ was given by Thembani Moitlhobogi, the winner of a $2,196 (BWP 25,000) prize, according to a Lucara statement February 9. The contest was only open to Botswanan citizens, including the miner’s employees.

On January 18 Lucara launched the competition to name the type-IIa diamond, the largest ever recovered in Botswana and the second largest ever found in the world. Entrants were invited to submit a suggested name and a reason for their choice. More than 11,000 entries were received.

Global audit firm Ernst & Young was hired to ensure transparency and independence during the process, the statement said. Five executives from Lucara and the Karowe mine sat on the panel judging entries without knowing the name of the contestant who submitted each one. Ernst & Young retrieved the winner’s name after the panel had selected the winning diamond name.

“The diamond industry has played a vital role in the country’s development, allowing for significant and ongoing investment in world-class healthcare, education and infrastructure,” said William Lamb, Lucara’s chief executive officer and president. “’Lesedi La Rona’ symbolizes the pride and history of the people of Botswana.”