It may be worth $50M+.
The prolific Letšeng mine in the tiny southern Africa kingdom of Lesotho has produced another mammoth gem-quality diamond. Weighing 910 carats, the D-color, Type IIa stone is the largest ever mined at Letšeng and the fifth-largest gem-quality diamond ever recovered.
This stone is the fifth-largest gem-quality diamond ever recovered. Credit: Image via Twitter.com/GemDiamondsLtd.
The yet-to-be-named gem is probably worth more than $50 million based on recent sales of colossal diamonds exhibiting nearly identical characteristics.
For example, the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona (#2 on the all-time list) was sold in September of 2017 for $53 million. In May of 2016, the 812-carat Constellation (#7 on the all-time list) fetched $63 million. Sourced at Lucara’s Karowe mine in Botswana, both D-color diamonds were rated Type IIa, which means they are chemically pure with no traces of nitrogen or boron impurities.
Despite having a land mass slightly smaller than Maryland, Lesotho is an international powerhouse when it comes to turning out huge, top-quality stones.
“Since Gem Diamonds acquired Letšeng in 2006, the mine has produced some of the world’s most remarkable diamonds, including the 603-carat Lesotho Promise,” noted Gem Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick. “However, this exceptional top-quality diamond is the largest to be mined to date and highlights the unsurpassed quality of the Letšeng mine.”
Here’s a list of the most newsworthy stones to come from Letšeng, which is billed as the highest dollar-per-carat kimberlite mine in the world.
2006 – Lesotho Promise (603 carats)
2011 – Letšeng Star (550 carats)
2007 – Lesotho Legacy (493 carats)
2008 – Leseli La Letšeng (478 carats)
2015 – Letšeng Dynasty (357 carats)
2015 – Letšeng Destiny (314 carats)
2014 – Unnamed Yellow (299 carats)
The newly unveiled 910-carat rough diamond has an equivalent weight of 182 grams, or 6.41 ounces. A baseball, by comparison, weighs 5.25 ounces.
The fifth-largest gem-quality diamond ever mined is less than one-third the weight of the granddaddy of them all — the 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond, which was discovered in South Africa in 1905. Finished gems cut from the Cullinan Diamond include the Cullinan I (530.20 carats) and the Cullinan II (317.4 carats).
The United Kingdom-based Gem Diamonds holds a 70% stake in the Letšeng mine with the government of Lesotho owning the remaining 30 percent.
Don't Gamble with Your Retirement
Let Wilkerson manage every detail of the most important sale of your life.
Latest Know How Stories
- How Far are Jewelers Prepared to Go to Save a Sale? Our Brain Squad Answers
- Is a Big Brand Store-in-Store a Fit for You? See What Other Jewelers Say
- After 2 Clients Divorce, an Owner Must Decide Who Owns the Store Credit
- This Simple Thing is Guaranteed to Make a Customer Feel Good
- Have a Young Fan Who Loves Your Store? Here's How to Make Her an Ambassador