Gem Diamonds has sold what has been termed the fifth largest rough diamond ever found for $40 million.
The sale of the 910 ct. D-color type IIa gem (pictured) took place at a tender held on March 12 in Antwerp, Belgium. The purchaser was the Samir Gems partnership in Antwerp, the mining company’s spokesperson Mark Antelme tells JCK. He declined comment on what the purchaser’s plans were for the diamond. No information has been given on a possible clarity rating for the stone.
The stone was found at the miner’s Letšeng deposit in the country of Lesotho in January. The stone has since been named the Lesotho Legend by the miner.
Gem Diamonds purchased the Letšeng mine in 2006. It currently owns 70 percent of the concession, with the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho having control of the remaining 30 percent. It is considered the diamond mine with the highest-achieving price per carat in the world.
Since Gem Diamonds acquired the once-dormant concession in 2006, Letšeng has produced more that 60 diamonds that weigh more than 100 cts., almost all of which are high-value white stones. Among the notable diamonds recovered are the 603 ct. Lesotho Promise, the 550 ct. Letšeng Star, and the 493 ct. Letšeng Legacy. It also produced an ultrarare 12 ct. blue stone in 2013, which eventually sold for $603,047 per carat.
Just this year, the mine has unearthed seven diamonds that weigh more than 100 cts., including a 169 ct. top color, type IIa diamond and a 152 ct. white type IIa gem. The discovery of both those stones was announced just this month.
“We are delighted with the outcome of the sale of this iconic diamond, which demonstrates the exceptional quality of the Lesotho Legend itself, as well as reaffirming the unique quality of the Letšeng diamond production,” said CEO Clifford Elphick said in a statement.
(Image of the Lesotho Legend courtesy of Gem Diamonds)