Only around 30 percent of the total diamonds produced worldwide are of gem quality, out of which only 1.8 percent is of the purest form. Type IIa D color diamonds are regarded as having the highest quality and are also the most expensive because they contain very little or no nitrogen atoms. They are free from any impurities, are colorless and have the highest thermal conductivity. Gem Diamonds have recovered many such high quality stones.
In a recent discovery, Gem Diamonds’ Letseng mine in Lesotho unearthed a 126 carat diamond. Letseng mine has found 4 out of the 20 largest white gem quality diamonds, making it the world’s highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond operation.
Hardly a month back, Gem Diamonds unearthed two huge diamonds. A Type I, 151.52 carat yellow diamond and a high quality D color Type IIa 104.73 carat stone. Earlier in April this year, the diamond miner recovered a 114 carat diamond and before that it found a 80 carat, Type II D color diamond – one of the highest quality diamonds to ever be unearthed out of the Lesteng mine. It was nearly two years back, before these discoveries that Letseng unearthed a superior quality diamond of 357 carat, which was sold for USD 19.3 million.
After a slowdown in recoveries in 2016, the revenues of the company were down by 22 percent. This prompted them to shift their focus to the grade K6 portion of the main pipe. Gem Diamonds unearthed only a handful of diamonds of 100 carats or more in 2016. The decision to shift their focus has resulted into discovery of four high quality diamonds of more than 100 carats in the last six months. Letseng mine is also known as one of the world’s highest diamond mines. It is situated at an elevation of 3,100 meters (10,000 feet) above sea level.
Lately many of the diamond miners were not doing so good as gem quality diamonds are running out. However, Gem Diamonds’ recent discoveries have breathed a fresh lease of life into the miner and the diamond industry.