The fifth largest diamond was recently unearthed in the land-locked African country of Lesotho.
Mine workers in Lesotho have discovered a ginormous 910-carat diamond. That’s around the size of two golf balls! The gem—believed to be the fifth largest diamond in the world—was discovered in Letšeng mine, which is owned by British diamond mining company Gem Diamonds.
“This exceptional top quality diamond is the largest to be mined to date [in Letšeng mine] and highlights the unsurpassed quality of the Letšeng mine,” said Gem Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick in a press release. “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.”
The diamond is classified as D colour Type IIa. These diamonds don't have any measurable impurities (e.g. nitrogen atoms). They are also usually colourless and transparent in ultraviolet light. This type of diamond makes up only about 2% of all natural diamonds.
According to Bloomberg, the Letšeng mine is known for its diamonds’ size and quality. The mine has the highest average selling price in the world.
In 2015, the mine sold a 357-carat gem for $19.3 million. In 2006, Letšeng mine workers unearthed the 603-carat Lesotho Promise, then the largest diamond found in the century.
Though Gem Diamonds has not disclosed how it plans to sell the diamond or what it could be worth, Liberum Capital Markets analyst Ben Davis tells Bloomberg that it could be worth $40 million.
(All images: Gem Diamonds)
Did your jaw drop after seeing the fifth largest diamond in the world? You’re not alone.
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