In a Press Release dated, Wednesday, 7 March 2018, London-listed Gem Diamonds Limited (LSE: GEMD), a leading producer of high-value diamonds in the world and the owners of Letšeng Mine in Lesotho and the Ghagoo Mine in Botswana, has announced the recovery of a 152 carat, white, top-color/D-color, Type IIa rough diamond, from their Letšeng mine in Lesotho, the highest dollar-per-carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world.
This is the sixth in a series of sensational discoveries of +100 carat rough diamonds at the mine for the year 2018, starting with the landmark discovery on 15th January 2018 of an exceptional quality 910 carat, D Color, Type IIa diamond, the largest diamond to be mined to date at Letšeng and also believed to be the fifth largest gem quality diamond ever recovered in the world. This was soon followed by four more large diamonds greater than 100 carats, weighing respectively in descending order as 149.43 carats, 117.67 carats, 116.98 carats and 110.63 carats.
Letseng Diamond Mine, the world’s highest diamond mine situated at an elevation 3,100 m (10,000 ft) has produced over sixty +100 carat high-value, top-color, Type IIa white diamonds, since Gem Diamonds acquired the mine in the year 2006. Some of the significant diamonds recovered from Letseng are the 603-carat Lesotho Promise, 550-carat Letšeng Star, 493-carat Letšeng Legacy, 478-carat Leseli La Letšeng, 357-carat Letšeng Dynasty, and the 314-carat Letšeng Destiny.
Apart from this Letšeng has also produced some high-quality pink and blue diamonds, with a rare blue diamond achieving a price-per-carat value of US$603,047 in 2013 and an exceptional pink diamond achieving a price-per-carat value of US$187,700 in 2016.
The recovery of large gem-quality diamonds greater than 100 carats in weight no doubt has a significant impact on the overall price-per-carat value of the diamonds sold. In the year 2017, Gem Diamonds saw a 12% year-on-year sales increase, with the special-size stones fueling a growth of 14% in the average price-per-carat achieved.