Lesedi la Rona: Our Light May 08 2016
Beneath the bright city lights of New York City, lies yet another wonder of Mother Nature’s stunning creations, the ‘Lesedi la Rona’. A 1,190 carat diamond rough sits quaintly in a high security display at Sotheby’s as it awaits to be auctioned in London as the world’s largest gem quality diamond to be discovered in a century.
Found in Botswana just last year, the ‘Lesedi la Rona’ translates to ‘Our Light’ as it encompasses the sheer magnificence, awe and pride it brought to the Tswana people. At the size of tennis ball, this diamond is second only to the 3,000 carat Cullinan Diamond unearthed in South Africa in 1905. According to the Gemological Institute of America, the ‘Lesedi la Rona’ is over 3 billion years old and belongs to a special category known as ‘Type IIa Diamonds’ which exhibit exceptional clarity and color.
The origination of diamonds has often been a topic of controversy and damaged reputations. The illicit trade of ‘Blood Diamonds’ involve rebel forces in war-torn areas in the heart of Africa using forced labor to mine diamonds which will eventually finance their supply of arms and ammunition. However, the reforms and international support that has inundated many African nations such as Sierra Leone have helped curb the proliferation of this inhumanity. The United Nations, in particular, has been instrumental in implementing the Kimberly Process Certification System which has been incredibly successful in hindering the trafficking of illegally sourced diamonds from nations burdened with civil wars.
The trade of diamonds is becoming increasingly aware of its impacts on society. The human factor is one that can no longer be ignored and we have taken long strides in progressing sustainably and ethically. The ‘Lesedi la Rona’ shines its light not only on the glamor of jewelry but also on the hopes and lives of the people that strive to make this world better through acts of compassion and care.