|Image: Gem Diamonds|
A 910-carat colourless diamond found at the Letseng mine in the southern African kingdomWorkers at Lesotho’s Letšeng mine have discovered an absolute whopper of a diamond, rated at 910-carats. Roughly the size of two golf balls, the precious gem has an estimated value of $40 million.
The rock, uncovered in the landlocked southern African country of Lesotho, is a 910-carat, D-color Type IIa diamond. This type of diamond makes up about 1 to 2 percent of all natural diamonds, containing no measurable impurities such as nitrogen atoms.
Type IIa’s are typically colorless, and are practically transparent in ultraviolet light. At 910-carats, it weights 182 grams, or 6.42 ounces. The Letšeng mine in which the diamond was unearthed is owned by Gem Diamonds, a British-based global diamond mining business.
“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 Letšeng mine is renowned for producing big, high quality diamonds. Back in 2015, Gem Diamonds sold a 357-carat rock for $19.3 million, and in 2006 it discovered the 603-carat Lesotho Promise.
The company didn’t say how it would sell the diamond, or disclose its worth, but as Bloomberg Quint reports, the precious stone could be worth $40 million if it’s devoid of large internal defects.
As noted, this is the fifth largest diamond ever discovered. The largest diamond, a 3,106-carat stone found in Pretoria, South Africa was cut into two stones and set in the Crown Jewels of Britain.
The other big ones are the 1,109-carat Lucara diamond, the 995-carat Excelsior, and the 969-carat Sierra Leone.
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