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Credit: Photo by MONIRUL BHUIYAN/AFP via Getty Images

Miners unearth monstrous 1,098-carat diamond that ranks as the 3rd biggest on Earth

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Jun 17, 2021, 2:24 PM EDT

Some of Mother Earth's most magnificent treasures are those rare sparkling gems coveted by crowned heads and jewelry aficionados called diamonds. Forged over 3 billion years ago deep inside the Earth's crust under extreme conditions of intense heat and pressure, carbon-fused diamonds have represented wealth, prestige, and true love for more than a dozen centuries. 

Now in a glittering find that ranks among one of the biggest diamonds ever unearthed, African miners at the world-renowned Jwaneng mine in southern Botswana have discovered a ginormous gemstone measuring 1,098 carats. This impressive rock tips the scales at just a hair under the second-biggest diamond ever found. That titanic 1,109-carat stone, known as the Lesedi La Rona, was also discovered in the Republic of Botswana back in 2015.

According to Bloomberg, this new super-sized gem was uncovered on June 1. 

The Debswana parent corporation is a joint enterprise between the famous "Diamonds Are Forever" De Beers corporation and the government of Botswana. Per Rachel Mothibatsela, a company spokesperson, the behemoth diamond represents the largest diamond ever found in the mining firm's five-decade history.

Credit: Photo by MONIRUL BHUIYAN/AFP via Getty Images

The world's biggest diamond is not too concerned with losing its title as it's more than twice the size of this newcomer. Called the Cullinan, it measured a ridiculous 3,106 carats when it was first discovered in South Africa in 1905.

Unfortunately it didn't stay in its original form very long, and the colossal gem was divided into approximately 100 pieces in 1908. A 530-carat hunk was delivered to London, where it was used for one of the Crown Jewels of England as the tip of the British Sovereign's Royal Scepter.

Botswana's legacy of diamond production began back in 1971. Since those mining operations started, the country has produced over 728 million carats of rough diamonds and holds the title of being the source of many of the planet's biggest and most beautiful gem quality diamonds.

This freshy-uncovered gemstone will be offically appraised over the summer. After its analysis and valuation, Okavango Diamond Trading Co., Botswana's state-owned diamond trading company, has the option of either buying it from Debswana or letting De Beers put it up for sale on the international market. 

“Debswana will work with the government of the Republic of Botswana and De Beers to value and sell the diamond to ensure it returns maximum benefit for the people of Botswana,” said Mothibatsela in a Facebook post.