Gem Diamonds Limited has announced the sale of the 198 carat Type II, D colour diamond (the recovery of which was announced on the 5th August 2014) for US$ 10.6 million (US$ 53 746 per carat) at Letšeng’s recent September tender.
Gem Diamonds CEO, Clifford Elphick stated: “The sale of this large, high quality white diamond demonstrates the continued robust demand for large high quality diamonds.” The Letšeng mine is famous for the production of large, top colour, exceptional white diamonds, making it the highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world. Since Gem Diamonds’ acquisition of Letšeng in 2006, the mine has produced four of the top twenty largest white gem quality diamonds recorded.
The mine is located in the Maluti mountains in the Kingdom of Lesotho at an average elevation of 3 100 metres (10 000 feet) above sea level and it is one of the highest diamond mines in the world. The mine has achieved the highest average dollar per carat of any kimberlite diamond mine in the world, with its regular production of large, top-quality diamonds.
In August 2011, a 550 carat white diamond, the Letšeng Star became the fourth major recovery at Letšeng since Gem Diamonds’ 2006 takeover. It was preceded by the 478 carat Leseli la Letšeng (‘Light of Letšeng’) white diamond in 2008, the 603 carat Lesotho Promise white diamond in 2006, and the 493 carat Letšeng Legacy white diamond in 2007. Add the 601 carat Lesotho Brown, recovered in 1960, and Letšeng has produced five of the 20 largest documented rough white gem diamonds on record.