Africa’s Lesotho has long been a profitable spot for diamond miners, but some miners recently found a gem that’s made the spot one of the world’s most profitable. The stone is 910-carat, weights 6.4 ounces, and is roughly the size of two tennis balls. The remarkable stone was found at the Letseng mine, owned by London-based Gem Diamonds.
The stone has been graded a D color, which means it’s completely colorless – which makes the find even more profitable. The stone was also rated Type IIa, which means no traces of the impurities boron or nitrogen were found. The stone is one of the rarest finds ever due to its size, clarity, and lack of impurities.
As mentioned previously, Lesotho is a great spot for diamond miners, and this is not the only sizeable rock found in the mine. According to mine owner Gem Diamonds, in its twelve years of ownership the mine has produced seven diamonds, not including the newest giant, that weigh in at more than 299 carats – though company CEO Clifford Elphick recognizes the significance of the latest find “This exceptional top-quality diamond is the largest to be mined to date,” said Elphick.
The mine’s owners have not announced what they play to do with the stone, but experts have already pointed out its remarkable value and potential. Diamond company Lucara recently sold a 1,019-carat diamond, the second largest ever sold, for a cool $53 million. The same company sold an 813-carat diamond that they named ‘The Constellation’ for $63 million in 2016.
Experts agree that the newly found gem will fetch the same price if the grades are confirmed. According to Ben Davis, an analyst for Liberium Capital Markets, “The pricing of diamonds is hugely variable and driven by a multitude of a factor, “But assuming that there are no large inclusions running through the diamond, we initially estimate a sale of $40 million,” said Davis.
The new diamond now asserts itself as the fifth-largest diamond ever found, and it will net its owners a significant payday no matter what they decide to do it. The largest diamond ever found? That honor belongs to the massive 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond found in 1905 near Pretoria, South Africa.