• Rebecca Brando

Large 442-carat Diamond Worth 18M Unearthed in Lesotho Mine - South Africa

Updated: Sep 3

August 23, 2020 By: Rebecca Brando


On Friday (Aug 21) Gem Diamonds Limited (LSE: GEMD) unearthed a giant high quality 442 carat Type II diamond from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho, South Africa. According to Bloomberg, experts estimate the diamond around to be worth $18 million or more.


Gem Diamonds Limited (LSE: GEMD) unearthed a giant high quality 442 carat Type II diamond from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho photo by Gem Diamonds

Clifford Elphick, CEO of Gem Diamonds, commented:
“The recovery of this remarkable 442 carat diamond, one of the world’s largest gem quality diamonds to be recovered this year, is further confirmation of the calibre of the Letšeng mine and its ability to consistently produce large, high quality diamonds. It is also a fitting testament to the dedication of the employees in the Group to have recovered such an extraordinary diamond, whilst at the same time maintaining strict adherence to health and safety precautions during the global Covid pandemic. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this diamond will be used to fund a special community project, as agreed with our partners the Government of Lesotho” said Elphick in a press release.

This news follows the discovery of the world’s largest coloured diamond in Russia, a 236-carat roughly deep amber colour mined in the northeastern Yakutia region of Russia in Alrosa’s Ebelyakh mine. Alrosa (MCX: ALRS), is one of the world’s top diamond miners. The diamond is reported to be around 120 and 230 million years old and measures 47x24x22 millimetres.


World’s largest coloured diamond in Russia, a 236-carat roughly deep amber colour mined in the northeastern Yakutia region of Russia in Alrosa’s Ebelyakh mine by The Big Magazine - Photo Alarosa

The world’s largest natural diamond is the “Cullinan,” a 3,106-carat diamond found in Premier No. 2 mine in Cullinan, South Africa, in 1905.


It was named after the owner of the mine, Mr. Thomas Cullinan, and was presented to King Edward VII of the United Kingdom for his 66th birthday. The diamond was cut into many smaller gems, the largest being the Great Star of Africa, which, at 530.4 carats, was the largest clear cut diamond.


The world’s largest natural diamond is the “Cullinan,” a 3,106-carat gem in Premier No. 2 mine in Cullinan in South Africa in 1905.

The second largest rough gem diamond in recorded history is the “Sewelo,” estimated to be two billion years old and the largest diamond discovered in this century. Canadian diamond mining company, Lucara Diamond Corporation, unearthed the 1,258-carat, Sewelo diamond in a Botswana owned mine in April 2019. Lucara Diamond Corp. later sold the diamond to luxury group, LVMH.


LVMH, owner of the 1,758-carat Sewelo Diamond - Photo by AFP


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