Gem Diamonds has unearthed a 114.2-carat yellow stone from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho, making it the fourth major recovery of a colored diamond from the mine this year and the sixth gem-quality stone larger than 100 carats since the year began.
Gem recovered an exceptional, 134-carat Type I yellow diamond in April - the first yellow stone of that magnitude since they dug up a 151.52-carat yellow diamond more than two years ago in June 2017 - followed up by a 135-carat yellow unearthed in June. In February, the miner also recovered a 13.33-carat pink diamond that they sold to Graff on tender in Antwerp for $8,750,360. The price for that stone set a new high on a dollar per carat basis for a Letšeng diamond, at $656,933. The renowned jeweler just revealed its iteration as a 5.63-carat, fancy-vivid-purplish-pink stone earlier this week.
The Letšeng mine in Lesotho produced 10 diamonds weighing more than 100 carats in H1 2018 - including the 910-carat Lesotho Legend which sold for $40 million. The fact that they have recovered fewer so far this year has had an impact on their financial results. In the first half of 2019, Gem Diamonds' revenue from the sale of rough diamonds fell on a year-over-year basis by 44% to $94.5 million and the volume of their recoveries was down 10% to 55,714 carats. Gem sold 55,714 carats during H1 2019, achieving an average price of $1,697 per carat, lower than the $2,742 per carat averaged in the same period a year ago. However, their average price earned per carat increased by 10% compared to the average price of $1,537 per carat in H2 2018.