By Michelle Graff
Gem Diamonds recovered this 163-carat diamond from the Letseng mine late last month.
London—Gem Diamonds said it has recovered a 163-carat yellow Type Ia diamond from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho.

The London-based mining company posted news of the find on its website last week, noting the diamond was recovered on June 24 with no breakage.

Gem operates Letšeng, which is known for producing large, high-quality diamonds, in a 70-30 partnership with the government of the Kingdom of Lesotho.

Like many diamond mines worldwide, Letšeng went on care and maintenance in late March because of the spread of COVID-19. Gem announced the reopening of the mine on April 24.

In the first half of 2020, Gem said its diamonds sold for an average of $1,707 per carat, up from $1,687 in H1 2019 and $1,506 in the second half of 2019.

Among the highlights were the sale of 13-carat pink diamond, pictured below, for $40,110 per carat (about $522,000) and a 61-carat Type II white diamond selling for $31,400 ($1.9 million).

20200701 Gem Diamonds
In the first half of the year, Gem sold 15 diamonds for more than $1 million each and one diamond for more than $5 million.

Gem has been holding its tenders in Antwerp in “strict compliance with COVID-19 health and safety protocols and appropriate social distancing guidelines.”

CEO Clifford Elphick said: “The results of the latest tender for Letšeng’s large diamonds are positive. With an average dollar per carat for the first half of the year of $1,707, and with certain stones selling above their anticipated post-COVID-19 valuations, it is clear that there is a good level of demand for the high-quality Letšeng diamonds.”

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