Diamond Prices Strengthen In Lesotho

In the second quarter of 2009 the prices of rough diamonds strengthened at the Letseng Mine in Lesotho according to Rapaport diamond news.

In the second quarter the average price per carat for Letseng Diamonds is $1,496- up 47% compared to the average price per carat in the first quarter of 2009. However this price was still 44% lower than the average price during the second quarter of 2008.

The Letseng Diamond Mine is the worlds highest diamond mine at an elevation of 3100 meters. It is located in the landlocked country of Lesotho and owned by the Government of Lesotho and GemDiamonds Ltd. The temperature in the mine drops up to -21 degrees celsius due to the elevation. During the winter snowfall is also common around the Letseng Mine. This mine which is well known for producing large diamonds is the largest producer of large diamonds greater than 10 carats. It also holds the record for the highest value per carat for any diamond mine. The average per carat value of rough diamonds from Letseng Mine was $1,894 during the first half of 2007 when the world average was around US$81 per carat.

Some of the large and famous diamonds found in the Letseng Diamond Mine are the Lesotho Promise, Lesotho Brown and  Letseng Legacy.

The sales of rough diamonds from the mine was $74.1 million during the first six months of 2009. However the production at the mine also rose 6% to 47,165 carats. During the same six months period 20 diamonds from the mine were sold for prices greater than $20000 per carat, at an average price of $29,563 per carat.

The shares of Gem Diamonds rose 6.9 percent to 165.75 pence in early morning trading at the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

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