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The Sewelo, the world's second-biggest rough diamond, is displayed at a Louis Vuitton luxury shop in Paris on Jan. 21, 2020.

STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images

Louis Vuitton made a splash as it showcased its latest purchase on Tuesday: the world’s second-biggest rough diamond.

The LVMH-owned brand, which said last week that it was the new owner of the 1,758-carat Sewelo, displayed the glinting, blackened stone at its Place Vendome store in Paris.

The company has not said how much it paid for the diamond. The size of a tennis ball and covered in carbon, it was discovered in Botswana last year and will be cut into gems.

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Its name, Sewelo, means “rare find” in Setswana, and the stone will be turned into a collection of fine jewellery, according to Lucara, a Canada-based diamond mining company which is partnering with Vuitton and an Antwerp-based manufacturer to produce the gems, and which owns the mine where it was found.

Vuitton, better known for making pricey handbags, only entered fine jewellery in 2012 – where it competes with Bulgari, also owned by LVMH, and Richemont’s Cartier.

High-end jewellers are displaying their wares in Paris alongside Haute Couture Week, a showcase of one-of-a-kind outfits by top designers. Pieces in these jewellery collections often cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Jewellery has emerged as one of the fastest-growing segments of the luxury goods market in recent years, spurring LVMH’s $16.2 billion purchase of U.S. label Tiffany last year.

Kering’s Gucci label also said last year it would branch into high-end jewellery.

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