British-based global mining company Gem Diamonds has announced the recovery of two significant diamonds from their Letšeng mine in Lesotho.
The first, pictured above, is a 162.06 carat type II white diamond. They also found a 161.74 carat type I white diamond from the same mine. Both stones were found at the end of January 2014 and are expected to be part of Letšeng’s February tender.
Gem Diamonds, owner of 70 per cent of the Letšeng mine, was founded in 2005 by Clifford Elphick. The other 30 per cent is owned by the Lesotho government. Along with Gem Diamonds’ interests in Letšeng, they have also been developing the Ghaghoo Mine, located around 45 km within the eastern border of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in the Republic of Botswana.
In October of last year, Gem Diamonds sold an 82-carat white diamond for $4.8 million or $59,173. More significantly, they also sold a rare 12.47-carat, blue diamond. That stone set a record for a Letšeng diamond garnering a $7.5 million price tag or $603,047 per carat.
Gem Diamonds first made headlines with the Letšeng mine in 2006 with the recovery of a 603 carat white diamond. The stone (pictured below), known as the Lesotho Promise, is the largest diamond ever found in the 21st century and is the 15th largest diamond ever found in history.
The Lesotho Promise, now owned by Graff Diamonds, was under scrutiny and analysis for months as they decided exactly how the rough diamond was going to be cut. It was finally commissioned to be cut into 26 separate stones. These stones have now been strung together and now form the Lesotho Promise Necklace.