Discovered in Botswana in November last year, the “Lesedi la Rona”, meaning “Our Light” in Botswana’s Tswana language, was expected to auction at an estimated price of $70 million.
The Sotheby’s auctioneer failed to persuade bidders to go above $61 million for the jewel, believed to be between 2.5 to 3 billion years old.
The auction house had called its discovery “the find of a lifetime” and earlier said that “every aspect of this auction is unprecedented”.
— Lewis Malka (@lewismalka) June 29, 2016
The sale comes at a time that the British pound has lost more than 10 percent of its value due to the Brexit vote.
Stocks at the Canadian mining firm Lucara, which discovered the diamond, have since fallen more than 14 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange, after it failed to sell.
The tennis ball-sized diamond is surpassed in size only by the 3,106 “Cullinan Diamond” found in 1905 in South Africa. A cut of that diamond, known as the “First Star of Africa,” is now part of British royal family’s crown jewels.