WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A 910-carat diamond has been dug up in the mountainous kingdom of Lesotho, a high-altitude country in southern Africa.
- The diamond deemed the fifth-biggest ever discovered is about the size of two golf balls.
- The stone is a D color Type IIa diamond, meaning it has very few to no nitrogen atoms at all.
Gem Diamonds Ltd., a British-based global diamond mining business, found one of the biggest diamonds in history at its Letseng mine in Lesotho. The mine is popular because it produces the biggest diamonds with the highest quality. It also holds the highest average selling price in the world.
In 2015, Gem Diamonds sold a 357-carat stone for $19.3 million. Almost ten years before that, in 2006, the mining company found the 603-carat diamond Lesotho Promise.
“This exceptional top-quality diamond is the largest to be mined to date and highlights the unsurpassed quality of the Letseng mine,” Gem CEO Clifford Elphick said.
Gem did not share details on how it will sell the stone or how much it could be worth. The value of the diamond will be determined by the size and quality of the polished stones that can be cut from it.
Lucara Diamond Corp. was able to sell a 1,109-carat diamond for $53 million in 2017. But it got a higher sale for a smaller 813-carat stone at $63 million.
Ben Davis, an analyst at Liberum Capital Markets said: “The pricing of diamonds is hugely variable and driven by a multitude of factors. But assuming that there are no large inclusions running through the diamond, we initially estimate a sale of $40 million.”
Gem Diamonds discovered at least seven stones bigger than 100 carats last year and five in 2016. It found a dozen stones over 100 carats each in 2015.
The biggest diamond ever found is the Cullinan, a 3,106-carat stone. It was discovered near Pretoria, in South Africa, in 1905. The Great Star of Africa and the Lesser Star of Africa, which are set in the Crown Jewels of Britain, were cut from the Cullinan.
Lucara’s 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona is the second-biggest diamond. The third- and fourth-biggest is the 995-carat Excelsior and 969-carat Star of Sierra Leone.