Image: Gem Diamonds

What a find by Gem Diamonds! Incredible 442 carats – a diamond out of the boldest dreams. How fitting that this treasure was found in a kingdom in Africa. The estimated value of the diamond leaves one speechless.

Gem Diamonds Ltd. said it has recovered a 442-carat rough diamond from the Letšeng, the largest find at the mine so far this year.

Gem said the diamond is a “high-quality” Type II stone, meaning it has no detectable nitrogen impurities and will produce a polished diamond of top color and clarity.

The Letšeng mine is in Lesotho, a small, enclaved kingdom located within South Africa. Gem Diamonds operates it in a 70-30 joint venture with the Lesotho government.

Not the first gigantic find

The 442-carat diamond could be worth around 18 million dollars, according to expert Edward Sterck. But first it would have to be cut. Nevertheless, there is also a large market for the unworked form. The rarity of such stones is creating high demand, despite the corona crisis.

The pandemic also has taken a toll on diamond prices, though Gem said in a trading update issued in late July that its large, high-quality diamonds have demonstrated price resilience.

Gem’s sales by volume in the first half of fiscal 2020 were down 22 percent when compared with the second half of 2019, while the total value of diamonds sold dropped 16 percent.

The average price-per-carat, however, was up 8 percent to $1,707/carat from $1,576/carat.

Gem said it offered only larger diamonds at its June tender, as it’s holding off on the sale of smaller stones until September, but included an estimated value for the diamonds in the per-carat price average.