Louis Vuitton just scooped up the second largest diamond ever discovered. The Sewelô, which translates to ‘rare find’ in Setswana (one of the native languages of Botswana – where the stone was first discovered). And a rare find it is indeed. The Botswanian diamond was unearthed in April 2019 and weighs 1,758 carats (coming in second place as the largest diamond, behind the Cullinan Diamond which weighs 3,106.75 carats). Louis Vuitton has not disclosed the exact cost of the purchase so far, but Chief Executive Michael Burke has stated that it was in the “millions”, and that “some of my competitors, I believe, will be surprised”.
Now that the stone is in the hands of the French luxury house, the brand will be partnering with diamond manufacturer HB from Antwerp. HB will be responsible for cutting and polishing the rough that will be featured in upcoming Louis Vuitton high jewellery collections. So far, the tennis ball-sized gem has been described as near gem of variable quality; “is it D or D-flawless, and how big is the flawless part? I don’t know. [The purchase] took a little bit of guts and trust in our expertise.’, Burke continues to openly admit to the brand’s daring and ambitious acquisition.
The fashion house’s attention has now turned away from its monogrammed leather goods to gearing up to expand their high jewellery presence in the market. Burke explains, “Nobody expects us to put such an emphasis on high jewellery, I think it will spice things up a bit. Wake up the industry”. This doesn’t come as a huge surprise as the Louis Vuitton parent company LVMH has recently acquired jewellery house Tiffany & Co. back in November of last year for US$16.2 billion. LVMH’s plans to dominate high jewellery is certainly well on its way.