The stone, found on June 1, was shown to President Mokgweetsi Masisi on Wednesday in the capital, Gaborone.
“This is believed to be the third largest gem-grade discovery in the world,” said Lynette Armstrong, CEO of Debswana.
The “rare and extraordinary stone… means so much in the context of diamonds and Botswana,” she said. “It brings hope to the struggling nation. “
The yet to be named stone, which measures 73mm long, 52mm wide and 27mm thick, is also the largest gem-quality stone in the history of Debswana, a joint venture between government and global diamond giant De Beers.
The largest diamond ever discovered in the world was the 3,106-carat Cullinan, found in South Africa in 1905.
The second largest was Lesedi La Rona of 1,109 carats – a tennis ball-sized diamond discovered in Karowe, northeastern Botswana, in 2015.
Botswana is Africa’s largest diamond producer.
Minerals Minister Lefoko Moagi said the discovery of the stone could not have come at a better time after the COVID-19 pandemic hit diamond sales in 2020.
The government receives up to 80 percent of revenue from Debswana sales in the form of dividends, royalties and taxes.
The company’s production fell 29% in 2020 to 16.6 million carats while sales fell 30% to $ 2.1 billion as the pandemic impacted both production and Requirement.
In 2021, Debswana plans to increase production by up to 38% to pre-pandemic levels of 23 million carats as the global diamond market recovers with the easing of travel restrictions and the reopening of jewelers.