Lesotho’s Letšeng mine recently delivered a 910-carat diamond to its owner, London’s Gem Diamonds Ltd. The stone is believed to be the fifth-largest gem-quality diamond ever recovered.
According to the diamond grading system, this is a D-color, Type IIa diamond. Stones of this quality comprise about 1% to 2% of all natural diamonds. They are usually colorless and contain no measurable impurities. The diamond weighs 182 grams or about 6.42 ounces.
Gem Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick said:
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, however, this exceptional top quality diamond is the largest to be mined to date and highlights the unsurpassed quality of the Letšeng mine. This is a landmark recovery for all of Gem Diamonds’ stakeholders, including our employees, shareholders and the Government of Lesotho, our partner in the Letšeng mine.
In addition to the latest stone and the Lesotho Promise, the Letšeng mine has produced the following remarkable diamonds:
- 2007: Lesotho Legacy (493 carat)
- 2008: Leseli La Letšeng (478 carat)
- 2011: Letšeng Star (550 carat)
- 2014: Yellow (299 carat)
- 2015: Letšeng Destiny (314 carat)
- 2015: Letšeng Dynasty (357 carat)
The diamond is roughly the size of two golf balls and has an estimated value of $40 million.