Tennis ball-sized diamond 2nd biggest ever

Vancouver-based mining company Lucara Diamond Corp. has found what's thought to be the second-biggest gem quality diamond ever at its mine in Botswana. 

The stone, which measures 65 by 56 by 40 millimetres in size — about as big as a tennis ball — weighs a whopping 1,111 carats, or 222 grams (a carat equals one fifth of a gram). 

Biggest since the Crown jewel gems

The TSX-listed mining company said it found the record-setting stone on Monday, the biggest gem-quality diamond pulled from the earth since the famed Cullinan stone, found in South Africa in 1905. The Cullinan weighed over 3,000 carats before it was cut up, the largest pieces of which were named the stars of Africa and went into the British Crown jewels. 

Crown Jewels Queen Elizabeth largest diamonds  collection 2015

Queen Elizabeth attends the opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in May. Gems cut from the Cullinan diamond are among the Crown jewels. (Eddie Mulholland/Getty)

They found 2 more giants, too

The 1,111-carat monster wasn't the only huge diamond Lucara found. On Thursday, the mining company announced it had pulled out two more: one measuring 813 carats — the sixth-largest ever recovered — and another measuring 374 carats in the same vein.

5 other giant diamonds

In the market?

The flawless, 60-carat oval-cut Pink Star is the largest known vivid pink diamond, and at the time of its sale by Sotheby's in 2013 commanded the highest price for an auctioned gem ever. The buyer wasn't able to come up with the $83 million US he bid, though, so the jewel remains in the auction house's inventory.  

The Pink Star Diamond Sothebys Genva auction 2013

(Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty)

Once in a Blue Moon

Earlier this month, Sotheby's put the 12.03-carat Blue Moon — the largest cushion-cut vivid blue diamond to appear at auction — on the block in Geneva. It sold for a record-setting $48.5 million US to a Hong Kong billionaire (convicted of bribery and money laundering last year in Macau) who renamed it the Blue Moon of Josephine, after his seven-year-old daughter.

SWITZERLAND AUCTION SOTHEBYS BLUE MOON DIAMOND 2015

(Martial Trezzini/EPA)

For the Love of God

If single gems aren't your thing, take a look at this work sculpted by British artist Damien Hirst. Titled For the Love of God, this piece consisting of a platinum cast human skull encrusted with over 8,000 diamonds — including the pink, pear-shaped Skull Star Diamond set in the forehead — sold for $100 million to an anonymous buyer in 2007. It was on display at the Tate Modern in London in 2011 and in Doha, Qatar, in 2013. 

For the love of God diamond skull

(Prudence Cuming Associates/Reuters)

With files from the CBC