One of the biggest diamonds in history has been discovered in the mountainous kingdom of Lesotho in southern Africa.
Gem Diamonds Limited found the 910-carat stone is about the size of two golf balls, at its Letseng mine in the country. It’s a D color Type IIa diamond, which means it has very few or no nitrogen atoms and is one of the most expensive and the fifth-biggest diamond stone ever found.
The Letseng mine is famous for the size and quality of the diamonds it produces and has the highest average selling price in the world.
Gem sold a 357-carat stone for $19.3 million in 2015 and in 2006 found the 603-carat Lesotho Promise.
This exceptional top-quality diamond is the largest to be mined to date and highlights the unsurpassed quality of the Letseng mine, Chief Executive Officer Clifford Elphick said in a statement.
Gem did not say how it will sell the diamond or what it could be worth. Its value will be determined by the size and quality of the polished stones that can be cut from it.
Lucara Diamond Corp. sold a 1,109-carat diamond for $53 million last year, but got a record $63 million for a smaller 813-carat stone it found at the same time in 2015.
The pricing of diamonds is hugely variable and driven by a multitude of factors. But this is assuming that there are no large inclusions running through the diamond, we initially estimate a sale of $40 million. said Ben Davis, an analyst at Liberum Capital Markets.
Gem’s mega discovery follows news last week that it had found 117-carat and 110-carat stones.
It will be another boost for the company that dropped to a record low last year after prices for its stones fell and it was forced to close a new mine in Botswana.
Gem rose as much as 18 percent, the biggest intraday gain since 2010, and traded at 93 pence by 9:06 a.m. in London.
The three large discoveries will raise investor confidence that the company has overcome a shortage of large stones and that it can recover the biggest diamonds without breaking them.
Gem found at least seven stones bigger than 100 carats in 2017 and five the year before. It recovered a dozen exceeding 100 carats in 2015.
Source: Voice of Nigeria