May Day! May Day!
Gem Diamonds is having a merry month of May at their Letšeng mine in the African country of Lesotho. We were excited to hear of the recovery of a beautiful 254 carat white crystal last week. This week that phenomenal find has been met and exceeded by a monster diamond crystal weighing 370 carats.
Rocky Mining High
Letšeng is the world’s highest diamond mine. With an average elevation of 10,000 feet above sea level, temperatures can drop below zero degrees, Farenheit, (-20°C). and snowfalls are common in winter. The colder conditions seem to bring more “ice” to the surface – Letšeng is the highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world.
254 carat rough crystal
The exceptional find from last week is a high quality 254 carat type II white diamond, reported on May 4.
370 carat rough crystal
We could think of May 10 as déjà vu, except this find was a whopping 45% larger. Again, an exceptional 370 carat type II white diamond.
Gem Diamond’s sales in 2020 went down in volume but jumped in value. The company sold 34 diamonds for more than $1 million, raising the average price per carat to $1,908, a 17% increase from 2019. Total sales amounted to $189.2 million, which was a 4% increase over 2020. Heading into 2021, CEO Clifford Elpchick reported the trend has continued into 2021.
It is pleasing to see that carat production during the period was up some 11% on the same period in 2020 and that the average price per carat was also slightly up on Q1 2020.
More Eye Candy
You can see a half dozen of the exceptional diamonds recovered at the in 2020 in this collection published last year.