Romm Diamonds Blog
June 18th, 2013
Completely surrounded by South Africa, its only neighboring country, the diminutive Kingdom of Lesotho is a world-class powerhouse when it comes to producing large, top-quality diamonds.

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Five of the 20 largest gem-quality white diamonds ever recorded were unearthed at Lesotho’s Letšeng mine — a mine that consistently yields the highest per-carat value of any kimberlite diamond mine in the world.

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Recently, British mining company Gem Diamonds Ltd. revealed still another amazing find at Letšeng — a gem-quality rough diamond weighing in at 164 carats. Despite it being much smaller than its gigantic cousins — the 603-carat Lesotho Promise and the 550-carat Letšeng Star — the newest find was quickly scooped up for $9 million.

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Gem Diamonds Ltd. reported that the rough diamond was transported to Antwerp, where gem experts are determining its potential value as a faceted gemstone. In addition to computer analysis, they will be polishing a surface of the diamond to open a clear "window" into the center of the stone.

Depending on what they find, the D-color, Type IIa rough could be divided to yield a number of flawless polished diamonds, or if it is internally flawless, it will likely be kept as one single stone. A flawless diamond of this size has the potential to break previous price records if and when it sells at auction.

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At 10,000 feet above sea level, Letšeng has the distinction of being the world’s highest diamond mine. Gem Diamonds Ltd. has a 70% stake in the mine and The Kingdom of Lesotho owns 30%.