Diamond Found in Africa Weighs More Than a Baseball

The Lesotho diamond is worth tens of millions of dollars
By Josh Rosenblatt,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2018 3:15 PM CST
Diamond Found in Africa Weighs More Than a Baseball
The Letseng Diamond   (Gem Diamonds)

Today a London-based gem company announced the discovery of a diamond that weighs 910 carats, making it the fifth-largest gem-quality diamond ever found by man. At 6.4 ounces, the diamond, which was pulled from a mine in the small African kingdom of Lesotho, is bigger than a baseball and more than half the size of an average male human heart. Gem Diamonds discovered the diamond in the Letseng mine, and it claims that the gem is colorless and radiant and without the yellow tints or impurities that decrease luster, the New York Times reports. The Lesotho government owns a minority stake in the Letseng mine. Gem Diamonds is the majority stakeholder.

At 6.4 ounces, the diamond is the largest ever found in Leostho, a small country surrounded by South Africa. The gemstone that held that honor until today, called the Lesotho Promise, weighed 603 carats and sold for $12.4 million at auction more than a decade ago. In a statement released today, Gem Diamonds Chief Executive Clifford Elphick said the newly discovered gemstone is an "exceptional top quality diamond" with the highest possible color rating, ABC News reports. The largest diamond ever found, the Cullinan Diamond or the Star of Africa I, was pulled from a mine in South Africa in 1905. That diamond was cut and found a place in the British crown jewels. (More diamond stories.)

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