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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Large White Diamond Mined in Lesotho

Photo from the Daily Mail

A 196-ct. rough white diamond has been recovered from the Letšeng mine in the tiny South African country of Lesotho on August 24, Gem Diamonds said Tuesday.

The international diamond mining company, which owns a 70 percent stake in the mine, said in a statement that preliminary examinations indicate that the gem will produce “top color and top clarity polished diamonds,” meaning that it’s going to attract a top dollar per carat.

Gem Diamonds, acquired the Letšeng mine in mid 2006 as a partnership with the Kingdom of Lesotho, which owns a 30 percent stake. Lesotho is an independent country surrounded by the Republic of South Africa.

The mine in recent years produced three of the world’s 20 largest recorded diamonds, namely, the 603-ct. Lesotho Promise, recovered in August 2006, which sold for $12.4 million; the 493-ct. Letšeng Legacy, recovered in September 2007, which sold for $10.4 million; and the 478-ct. Light of Letšeng, recovered in September 2008, which sold for $18.4 million.

“Letšeng continues to live up to its reputation as a unique producer of exceptional diamonds and the recovery of this remarkable 196 carat white diamond reinforces its position as one of the great mines in the diamond industry,” said Clifford Elphick, Gem Diamonds CEO.

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