One of the largest diamonds ever found has been discovered in a mine in the landlocked African state of Botswana.
The stone, the size of a chicken's egg, is 1098 carats and of the purest quality, mine operator Debswana said. The gem was found at the Jwaneng mine earlier this month, according to the German News Agency (dpa).
The mine is owned by the Debswana consortium, in partnership with diamond producer De Beers and the state of Botswana. It owns a total of four large diamond mines, of which the 400-meter-deep mine in Jwaneng is considered the largest.
News of the discovery comes as diamond fever gripped a tiny village across the border in South Africa. Thousands of treasure hunters flocked to the region, to burrow through the soil where a local shepherd found a fistful of unidentified stones.
According to The Metro, word quickly spread about the find after pictures and videos were posted to social media showing people celebrating the discovery of what are believed to be quartz crystals.
Prospectors wielding picks, shovels and forks travelled from across the country to join villagers who have been digging since Saturday. Sihle Zikalala, the province's premier, ordered the crowds to leave the area, warning that "the situation could result in chaos and a possible stampede."