National Jeweler Network


Gem Diamonds unearths two 160 carat-plus stones

February 13, 2014

Gem Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick said he is pleased that the Letšeng mine continues to produce high-quality white diamonds.

London--The Letšeng mine in the Kingdom of Lesotho has yielded a pair of rough diamonds weighing 162.06 and 161.74 carats, Gem Diamonds Ltd. announced Thursday.

The stones, found at the end of January, both were in largely undamaged condition. They will be sold at the mining company’s tender this month and are expected to achieve “top prices,” Gem Diamonds said.

In October, the mining company sold a 12.47-carat blue rough diamond found at Letšeng for $7.5 million, or $603,047 per carat. An 82-carat white diamond went for $4.8 million, or $59,173 per carat, at the same sale.

RELATED CONTENT: Gem’s 12-carat blue stone sells for $7.5M

The 162.06-carat rough diamond is a Type II while the smaller stone is a Type I.

“We are pleased to see the Letšeng mine continue to deliver such large, high-quality white diamonds as the mine confirms its position as the world’s foremost source of exceptional large diamonds,” Gem Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick said.

London-based Gem Diamonds owns 70 percent of the Letšeng mine, with the remaining 30 percent owned by the Lesotho government. The mine is famous for producing big white diamonds of top color, making it the highest dollar-per-carat kimberlite pipe in the world.

Since Gem Diamonds acquired the mine in 2006, it has produced four of the top 20 largest white gem quality diamonds on record.

Gem Diamonds also owns the Ghaghoo mine in Botswana, which is currently in development.