Diamond found in Lesotho among largest ever
JOHANNESBURG: Gem Diamonds, a London- listed mining firm, said it had recovered a 478-carat diamond from its mine in Lesotho: the 20th largest rough diamond ever found.
The discovery of the gem had the potential to become one of the largest round-cut diamonds in the world, was made on September 8 at the Letseng mine in Lesotho, the South African Press Association quoted the company source as saying.
"Preliminary examination of this remarkable diamond indicates that it will yield a record-breaking polished stone of the very best color and clarity," the company's Chief Executive Clifford Elphick said in a statement.
The diamond, which has not yet been named, has the potential to yield a 150-carat polished stone, a company spokesman said.
That would be far bigger than the 105-carat round-cut Koh-i- Noor diamond seized by Britain from India in the 19th century and now part of the Crown Jewels.
It would still only be a fraction of the size, however, of the Cullinan diamond discovered in 1905, which was 3,106 carats when recovered and yielding a teardrop shaped diamond of 530 carats: the Great Star of Africa.
The Letseng mine is owned by a mining company that is 70 per cent owned by Gem Diamonds, with the remaining 30 percent held by the Lesotho government.