Graff Diamonds buys 478-carat diamond for $18.4 million
LONDON, December 8, 2008 – Gem Diamonds Limited and the government of Lesotho announced the sale of the Light of Letšeng, a 478-carat white diamond, in Antwerp for US$18.4 million.
The Light of Letšeng, or the Leseli la Letšeng in Lesotho’s native language Sesotho, was named to reflect its outstanding colour and clarity which are of the highest possible standard for a rough diamond.
The world’s leading diamantaires participated in the tender and the winning bid was made by SAFDICO, the manufacturing arm of Graff Diamonds.
Graff Diamonds is one of the world’s leading diamond jewellery purveyors and was also the winning bidder for the Lesotho Promise in 2006 and the Letšeng Legacy in 2007. There were strong bids from a further six diamantaires.
The diamond ranks as the 20th largest rough diamond ever to be recovered. The Letšeng mine in Lesotho is renowned for its production of remarkable diamonds and the Light of Letšeng is the third significant recovery from the Letšeng mine in as many years, following the 603-carat Lesotho Promise and the 493-carat Letšeng Legacy recovered in 2006 and 2007 respectively.
Including the 601-carat Lesotho Brown, recovered in 1967, the Letšeng mine has now produced four of the world’s 20 largest rough diamonds and the three largest diamonds recovered this century.