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Another historic gem recovered from Letšeng

Teboho Molapo

MASERU — An historic 553-carat diamond was discovered by Gem Diamonds at Letšeng Mine in Mokhotlong on Wednesday.
The stone, which becomes the world’s 15th biggest diamond to be unearthed, is currently undergoing analysis in Antwerp, Belgium.
“This exceptional diamond, which is yet to be named, ranks as the 15th largest white diamond ever to be recovered,” Gem Diamonds said in a statement.
Letšeng Mine is jointly owned by Gem Diamonds who own 70 percent and the government of Lesotho which owns the other 30 percent.
“It is the fourth historic diamond recovered from the Letšeng Mine in recent years, following the recovery of the 603 carat Lesotho Promise, the 493 carat Letšeng Legacy and the 478 carat Light of Letšeng,” the company said.
The diamond has not been named yet but Gem Diamonds considers it to be “exceptional and historic in size”, according to reports.
The world’s biggest certified diamond is the 3 106-carat Cullinan which was found in South Africa in 1905.
Gem’s Mine also yielded the 603-carat Lesotho Promise which was unearthed at the Letšeng Mine in August 2006.
The diamond was sold two months later at an auction in Belgium for US$12.4 million to the South African Diamond Corporation.
Meanwhile, the 493-carat Letšeng Legacy sold for US$10.4 million (about M88 million) in 2007 while the 478-carat Light of Letšeng went for US$18.4 million in 2008.

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