Published June 30, 2016 Associated Press
LONDON – Turns out the largest diamond discovered in over a century may not be worth all that much.
The tennis ball-sized Lesedi la Rona failed to find a buyer Tuesday, a disappointing result for a stone which had been described as “the find of a lifetime” by David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby’s jewelry division.
The diamond was unearthed in November in Botswana at a mine owned by Canada’s Lucara Diamond Corporation. It measured 1,109 carats, the second-largest gem-quality rough diamond ever discovered. Its name means “our light” in the Tswana language.
A spokeswoman said bidding reached $61 million — below the more than $70 million Sotheby’s had hoped for.
No rough diamond of this size had ever been auctioned, and after Wednesday’s sale it’s unclear if one will for a while.
A Neighbor You Can Trust
Buying jewelry is all about trust. You can trust your independent jeweler because your local jeweler is an active part of your community. Most jewelers support local charities and volunteer their time to support local causes. They are there for you and your neighbors and will serve you above and beyond what a corporate business would because they know that word of mouth is the lifeblood of a local business. Make sure when you have a good experience, you tell your friends too!
Growing With You
As we get older, we sometimes get larger too. Your local jeweler will make sure your jewelry grows with you by resizing your rings and adding links to bracelets, necklaces and watches. If you become very successful later in life, you may want to upgrade an engagement ring, without replacing it, by adding a match to your original center diamond and a larger center diamond between them. Your relationship with your local jeweler will last a lifetime. In fact, for many families, it stretches for generations.
In a world where mass production and volume retail is becoming more common, many people settle for cookie-cutter jewelry. Volume retailers order every style by the thousands. You’ll see anything you buy there over and over, even when you travel to other towns. But when you buy from your local jeweler, you can choose styles that have been hand selected just for your individual taste.
You are important to your local jeweler: a friend and neighbor, an individual, not just a face in the crowd. Your local jeweler will remember your anniversary and will even know which style your spouse tried on during a recent visit. Your local jeweler can suggest some earrings to match a necklace you bought last year. When you take a big step in your life, like become engaged or celebrate the birth of a child, your local jeweler understands how important it is to make the moment match the emotion and can help you personalize your purchase.
Care & Cleaning
Not only does your local jeweler care about you, but he or she cares about your jewelry too! Cleaning rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings keeps them beautiful. Bring in your rings every year or two to have the prongs checked to make sure that you never lose a gemstone. Many stores offer this as a free service to customers. Only your local jeweler cares to make sure that your jewelry stays beautiful forever.
You might be surprised at how competitive your local jeweler can be. Many local jewelers belong to powerful buying groups like the IJO and the RJO. These groups magnify the individual jeweler’s buying power by assuring him the same favorable prices given to the large chains and big-volume stores. So you get the best of both worlds: the personal, knowledgeable attention of the independent jeweler and the bulk-rate prices of the larger, more impersonal chains. Don’t be fooled by the deceptive 80 percent off offers that clog your mailbox: your local jeweler offers you honest value every day.
When you buy at a chain store or a mass merchant, the person behind the counter might have sold auto parts or ice cream the week before. When you buy from your local jeweler, you will get good advice from a professional, someone who eats, breathes and sleeps jewelry. Jewelers have gemological training, read professional journals to keep up to date, travel to trade fairs and seminars and learn all about the products they offer. They can help you be an educated buyer and choose the jewelry that is right for your lifestyle.
From Modern Jeweler
The September 2006 Issue