Gem Diamonds finds yet another big stone in Lesotho

The 118.74 carats diamond recovered in late April.
The 118.74 carats diamond recovered in late April.

Africa-focused miner Gem Diamonds (LON: GEMD) has unearthed a new major Type II white diamond at its prolific Letšeng mine in Lesotho, barely six days after the previous find.

The 118.74-carat diamond is the fifth greater than 100-carat precious stone recovered this year at the operation, the company said.

Type IIa diamonds are the most valued and collectable precious gemstones, as they contain either very little or no nitrogen atoms in their crystal structure. Boart diamonds are stones of low quality that are used in powder form as an abrasive.

The prolific Letšeng mine is one of the world’s ten largest diamond operations by revenue. At 3,100 metres (10,000 feet) above sea level, it is also one of the world’s most elevated diamond mines.

Diamond miners are going through a rough patch as US and Chinese demand for diamond jewellery continues to be weak and the popularity of cheaper laboratory grown diamonds continues to rise.

In 2015, man-made diamonds had barely made an appearance as a competitor to natural diamonds. By last year, these stones accounted for more than 10% of the global diamond jewelry market, according to industry specialist Paul Zimnisky.

The market values of small to medium diamond mining companies, including Canada’s Lucara (TSX: LUC), South Africa’s Petra (LON: PDL), and Gem Diamonds itself, are around $100 million or less. This is only about a third or a fourth of the price the large stones they aim to find may be worth.


Graff unveils new ring crafted from 13.33ct Lesotho Pink diamond

Graff Lesotho Pink 5.63 cts

Luxury house Graff has unveiled a new ring with a centre stone crafted from the 13.33 carat Lesotho Pink diamond.

The end result of is a 5.63 carat ‘fancy vivid purplish pink’ pear shape diamond flanked by two ‘fancy intense pink’ pear shaped diamond shoulder stones and embraced by a minimal rose gold setting.

The firm claims that its expert gemmologists and master craftsmen spent many months analysing the complexities of the diamond before devising “how best to capture the extraordinary beauty of its unusually vibrant pink hue”.

The rough stone had been discovered at the Letseng mine in Lesotho in February, with Laurence Graff purchasing it for $8.75 million.

This was a record for the purchase of any Letseng diamond in terms of dollar per carat.

The firm shares: “The world’s already extremely limited resources of pink diamonds are quickly depleting, as the mines where these rarities are discovered gradually become extinct.

“They are highly sought after by those who want to enter the rarefied and exclusive group of connoisseurs who appreciate these precious pink stones for their sublime beauty.

“Graff searches timelessly for the very best examples displaying the most vivid and vibrant colour, identifying once in a lifetime discoveries and creating jewels that showcase their remarkable hues.”

Source: professionaljeweller