Louis Vuitton has entered into a partnership with Canadian corporation Lucara to make jewellery from the second largest rough diamond ever mined, in a sign of its growing ambitions in the high-end jewellery market.
The Sewelô diamond, which was found in Botswana in April 2019, clocks in at 1,758 carats, second only to the legendary Cullinan diamond.
In partnership with HB, a Antwerp-based diamond manufactuter, Louis Vuitton will manufacture jewellery from the stone.
Lucara will receive an up front non-material payment for the Sewelô and retain a 50 per cent interest in the individual polished diamonds that result.
In addition, five per cent of all of the retail sales proceeds generated from this historic collection will be invested directly back into Botswana on community-based initiatives undertaken by Lucara.
Lucara’s chief executive Eira Thomas said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Louis Vuitton, the famous luxury House, to transform the historic Sewelô, Botswana’s largest diamond, into a collection of fine jewellery that will commemorate this extraordinary discovery and contribute direct benefits to our local communities of interest in Botswana.”
In November Louis Vuitton owner LVMH struck a $16.2bn (£12.6bn) deal to buy iconic Fifth Avenue jeweller Tiffany after first launching a bid late in October.
Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said the huge deal should help LVMH “as it seeks to take on its closest rival Richemont, who owns Cartier, and help gain it better access to US markets”.
Kate Swaine, partner at law firm Gowling WLG, said: “At a time when the retail market is challenging, the luxury end of the sector has proved resilient to the slowdown in economic growth.
“This purchase demonstrates the appetite for investment and expansion even at the heights of the sector.”
Main image credit: Lucara/Louis Vuitton