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February 2017

2 posts from April 2017

Two Large Rough Diamonds Found in Lesotho

New York--Two large diamonds have been uncovered in Africa in as many weeks, putting an end to the drought of big diamond finds the industry seems to have been experiencing.
Lesotho diamonds
Gem Diamonds uncovered the 114-carat D color, Type II rough diamond on the left at Letšeng while Firestone Diamonds found the 110-carat light yellow rough diamond at right at its Liqhobong project.

Mining company Gem Diamonds Ltd. announced the recovery of a 114-carat rough diamond from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho on Friday.

The company described it as a D color, Type II diamond of “exceptional quality.”

The Letšeng mine is known for producing large, high-quality white diamonds, selling at an average price of $2,000 per carat, according to Bloomberg, which is the highest in the industry.

It is the deposit responsible for producing the 357-carat chunk of rough that was cut into the 118.78-carat “Graff Venus,” the world’s largest flawless heart-shaped diamond.

Since Gem Diamonds acquired Letšeng in 2006, the mine has produced four of the 20 largest gem-quality white diamonds ever recorded, though last year it only recovered five stones bigger than 100 carats, less than half what it found the year prior.

The news of Gem’s find came on the heels of another big diamond find from a rival miner in Lesotho, a small kingdom within a country that’s located in the southeastern portion of South Africa.

On April 5, Firestone Diamonds said it had unearthed a 110-carat diamond, its biggest discovery so far, at its new mine in Lesotho.

The light yellow stone was discovered at the Liqhobong project, confirming its beliefs that the deposit has the potential for large diamonds, the company said.

Firestone has spent $185 million to build up the mine, which just began production in October.

In addition to its Liqhobong mine in Lesotho, Firestone also owns and operates the BK11 kimberlite mine in northern Botswana.

via www.nationaljeweler.com


The Pink Star’ Sells for $71M at Sotheby’s

Hong Kong--The 59.60-carat ‘Pink Star’ diamond has, once again, become the most expensive jewel ever sold at auction, and maybe this time it will stick.

Pink-Star-1The Pink Star is a 59.60-carat oval mixed-cut Type IIa pink diamond and is the largest internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond the Gemological Institute of America has ever graded. The diamond came from a 132.5-carat piece of rough mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999 and was cut and polished over a two-year period.

Chow Tai Fook paid $71.2 million for the stone on Tuesday at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite sale in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong-based retailer and manufacturer edged out two other buyers to snag the stone, Sotheby’s said.

Sotheby’s experts had estimated before the sale that The Pink Star would sell for more than $60 million.

It set a new world record price for any jewel sold at auction, surpassing the rectangular-cut, 14.62-carat “Oppenheimer Blue,” which sold for $57.5 million at Christie’s Geneva last May.

This isn’t the first time The Pink Star has found a buyer at auction, though the first sale fell through.

The nearly 60-carat pink stone went up for auction in November 2013 at Sotheby’s Geneva, where four different bidders competed for it. New York diamond cutter Isaac Wolf placed the winning bid of $83 million, which, at the time, marked a new auction record for any jewel ever sold at auction.

In February 2014, though, Wolf defaulted on the payment for the diamond he had named “The Pink Dream” and as a result, Sotheby’s had to take the stone back into its inventory because it had been sold under an auction guarantee.

Last summer, the auction house formed a partnership with Diacore and Mellen Inc. to acquire an ownership interest in the diamond, meaning that when the stone sold, proceeds would be split among the three companies per their ownership percentage.