It's a whopper: 550 carat diamond found in Lesotho

The Letšeng Star, the 14th largest diamond ever to be recovered has been unveiled by Gem Diamonds. The 550 carat diamond was found at the Letšeng mine.

The 550 carat Letseng Star discovered in Lesotho August 2011.

The Letšeng Star, the 14th largest diamond ever to be recovered has been unveiled by Gem Diamonds and the Government of Lesotho. The 550 carat diamond was found at the Letšeng mine, the highest diamond mine in the world, located in the remote African nation of Lesotho.

The newly baptised 550 carat Letšing Star was found on the 19th August. It is currently in Antwerp where it has been boiled twice in acid to remove any traces or kimberlite to establish its true weight which has been confirmed at an impressive 550 carats. Gem Diamonds has stated that the Letšeng Star is a Type IIA, D colour, which means that it is a high quality diamond. The rough diamond is somewhere in size between a golf ball and a cricket ball.

The Letšeng mine has had a winning streak and in the last four years has yielded four significant diamonds, following the recovery of the 603 carat Lesotho Promise, the 493 carat Letšeng Legacy and the 478 carat Light of Letseng, all of which have been bought by SAFDICO, an arm of London-based Graff Diamonds. Thanks to finds like this one, the Letšeng mine in the remote, hostile mountains of Lesotho has an impressive record.

The average price per carat of diamonds mined at Letšeng is $3,095 well above the global average of $95 per carat. Gem Diamonds Limited (LSE: GEMD) a FTSE 250 company is a global diamond company with operations and projects in Angola, Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Lesotho and Indonesia. The Letseng mine is jointly owned by the Kingdom of Lesotho (30%) and Gem Diamonds (70%).

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