"Okavango Blue" is believed to be the largest blue diamond ever unearthed in the southern African country of Botswana. The rough stone of over 40 carats has unique characteristics.
The discovery was made by Okavango Diamond Company (ODC), a rough diamond marketing company that is wholly owned by the Botswana Government. It is one of the world’s top producers, since diamonds are Botswana's main export, accounting for 80% of GDP.
The company proudly exhibited the 20.46-carat polished gemstone, attained by cutting the 41.11-carat rough stone found in the Orapa diamond mine.
"From the first moment we saw the diamond, it was clear that we had something very special in our hands. Everyone who saw the 20-carat polished diamond was amazed by its unique color and considered it different from any other blue stone they had ever seen before. It is incredibly unusual for a stone of this color and natural to come from Botswana - a unique discovery in life," said Marcus ter Haar, the ODC's executive director.
The oval-cut gemstone was named "Okavango Blue" in honor of the Okavango Delta, a world heritage site.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has graded the "Okavango Blue" as an Oval Brilliant Cut, VVS2 clarity diamond, with Fancy Deep Blue color, type: IIb, making it one of the highest polished color classifications attainable for any blue diamond.
The "Okavango Blue" is one of the rarest and most precious diamonds in the world.