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Jackie O Lesotho III Diamond Sells for $2.6 Million at Sotheby's

May 21, 1996 12:52 PM  
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In a bidding frenzy at Sotheby's the historic Lesotho III diamond,

given to Jackie Kennedy as an engagement ring by Aristotle Onassis,

sold for $2,587,500 (estimated at $500,000 to $600,000). The L-

color, VS2, marquise shaped 40.42 carat ring flanked by tapered

baguettes came with an original working diagram stating that the stone

may be potentially flawless. The stone was cut from the 601 carat

rough Lesotho Diamond the eleventh largest gem quality diamond ever

found. The diamond was discovered in 1967 in Lesotho South Africa by

Ernestine Ramaboa the wife of digger Petrus Ramaboa. The diamond is

the largest ever discovered by a woman. The couple traveled on foot to

Maseru the capitol of Lesotho to sell the diamond which was eventually

purchased by Harry Winston. The stone was exhibitied at the

Smithsonian Institution in Washington , D.C and the Musuem of Natural

History in New York before being cut into 18 gems. The stone was

cleaved by Winston master-cutter Pastor Colon in a live televised

broadcast in March of 1968. The Lesotho III was the third largest of

the group and hence its name.

Tags: Harry Winston, Lesotho, Sotheby's, South Africa
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