442ct., Type II Diamond Recovered In Lesotho.

Gem Diamonds Limited, a multinational diamond company running the Letseng mine in Lesotho under its subsidiary company Letšeng Diamonds (Pty) Limited announced on the 21st August that they had recovered a 442-carat diamond from the mine. The recovered diamond is a Type II diamond and is estimated to be valued at $18million.

The famous Letseng mine is located at an elevation of about 3.1km in the Maluti Mountains of Lesotho. It is renowned for its recovery of large, high quality, exceptional, Type II diamonds (diamond with very little to no nitrogen impurities). Letseng mine is the world’s highest average dollar per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world.

The recovery of this remarkable 442-carat diamond, one of the world’s largest gem-quality diamonds to be recovered this year, is further confirmation of the calibre of the Letšeng mine and its ability to consistently produce large, high-quality diamonds. It is also a fitting testament to the dedication of the employees in the Group to have recovered such an extraordinary diamond, whilst at the same time maintaining strict adherence to health and safety precautions during the global Covid-19 pandemic.  

Clifford Elphick, CEO of Gem Diamonds

Since Gem Diamonds Limited acquired Letšeng in 2006, the mine has produced some of the world’s most remarkable diamonds, including the 603ct Lesotho Promise (15th largest diamond) unearthed on 22 August 2006. The gem diamond was purchased by renowned diamond dealer Laurence Graff for $12.36 million and was cut into 26 smaller diamonds varying in sizes.

The Lesotho promise held by an African model. Photo was taken before it was purchased and cut by Graff.

In 2018, the company found a 910 carat, D-color, Type II diamond of exceptional quality. The diamond is believed to the 5th largest gem-quality diamond ever recovered. The diamond was sold for $40 million.

Image of the 910 carat, D-color, Type II diamond

The company also owns the Ghaghoo mine in Botswana with Head offices in the UK and sales and manufacturing centers in Antwerp, Belgium.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this diamond will be used to fund a special community project. The Government of Lesotho holds a 30% stake in Letšeng Diamonds (Pty) Limited.

Image courtesy: Gem Diamonds Limited

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