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Weekly Digest: The legendary Lesotho, a magnificent blue diamond and 100 carat discoveries


In this week’s round-up of headlines from the international diamond and diamond jewellery trades, the WFDB tackles industry challenges, Sotheby’s presents a spectacular fancy blue, and Gem Diamonds sells its 910 carat Lesotho Legend… only to discover its seventh diamond over 100 carats of 2018. 

Gem Diamonds sells Lesotho Legend for $40 million

Gem Diamonds has sold the Lesotho Legend, the 910 carat stone it recovered at its Letšeng mine in January 2018, for $40 million, the miner said.

The company said the D colour, Type IIa stone, which it sold at tender in Antwerp on March 12, is the fifth-largest gem-quality diamond ever recovered.

“We are delighted with the outcome of the sale of this iconic diamond, which demonstrates the exceptional quality of the Lesotho Legend itself, as well as reaffirming the unique quality of the Letšeng diamond production,” Clifford Elphick, CEO of Gem Diamonds, said in a statement.

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Gem Diamonds recovers two huge diamonds

Gem Diamonds announced the recovery of a 152 carat, top white colour Type IIa diamond from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho, the highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world.

Gem Diamonds 152 carat top white colour Type IIa diamond from the Leteng mine Image credit Gem Diamonds
Gem Diamonds' 152 carat, top white colour Type IIa diamond from the Letšeng mine. Image credit Gem Diamonds.

Just a seven days later, on March 14, the company announced another 169 carat top white colour Type IIa diamond had been discovered in the same location. This is the seventh diamond of over 100 carats the miner has unearthed since the start of the year.

A seventh diamond over 100 carats, this time weighing in at 169 carats. Image credit: Gem Diamonds. 

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Sotheby’s Hong Kong to sell 14 carat blue diamond ring

Sotheby’s Hong Kong will auction a rare 14 carat fancy blue diamond ring at its Magnificent Jewels sale on April 3, the auction house said.

The ring is set with a step-cut fancy blue diamond weighing 14.18 carats, surrounded by brilliant-cut diamonds of pink tint. The mount is decorated with brilliant-cut diamonds, in platinum and 18k pink gold.

The ring carries an estimated price of $6 million to $7.7 million.

The beautiful ring is set with a step-cut fancy blue diamond of 14.18 carats. Image credit: Sotheby’s Hong Kong. 

As reported by Rapaport, the auction will also include a Van Cleef & Arpels gem-set and diamond bracelet valued at $845,000 to $1.1 million, and a 25 carat Burmese ruby and diamond ring priced between $10.5 million and $11.8 million.

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WFDB discusses industry issues at Idar-Oberstein

The World Federation of Diamond Bourses' (WFDB) Executive Committee Meeting took place in Idar-Oberstein on March 12, with the event tackling a full agenda of issues ahead of the 38th World Diamond Congress in Tel Aviv in June.

According to IDEX, the WFDB Executive Committee spoke on the World Diamond Council's proposed changes to its System of Warranties (SoW), nomenclature issues, the proposed inclusion of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association into the WFDB, finance and the situation in India in the wake of the alleged fraud involving jeweller Nirav Modi.

"We held very frank discussions on a wide range of internal WFDB issues, as well as many pertaining to topics of critical importance to diamantaries in their daily work," said WFDB President Ernie Blom.

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Words by David Brough

Discover more industry news on the CARAT+ website every week.


CARAT+ is The World’s Premier Diamond Event, covering the full spectrum of the diamond and diamond jewellery trades. The show specialises in four sectors: loose diamonds, branded diamond jewellery, non-branded diamond jewellery and services for the diamond jewellery industry.

Taking place in Hall 1 and Hall 4 of the Antwerp Expo on 6, 7 and 8 May, entry to the show is restricted exclusively to industry professionals, including diamond and jewellery wholesalers and manufacturers from around the world, and jewellery retailers from across Europe and the wider world. 

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