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A series of large diamond discoveries and sales reflect what has been a steep increase in demand for rough diamonds, accompanied by increases in rough diamond prices. According to the Rapaport price index, rough diamond values have risen on average by 3.4 percent since December 2017.

Australia-headquartered Lucapa Diamond announced June that it has uncovered an 89-carat yellow diamond at its 70 percent-owned Mothae mine in Lesotho, during a bulk sampling program at the site.

The company’s managing director, Stephen Wetherall, said the recovery of such a large diamond so early in the productive life of the facility provided further proof that, just like the neighboring Letšeng mine, Mothae is likely to become another source of exceptionally large diamonds.

The 89-carat yellow diamond discovered earlier this year at the new Mothae mine in Lesotho. (Photo courtesy of Lucapa)

TOP-QUALITY 95-CARATER FROM CANADIAN MINE SOLD In Canada, Mountain Province Diamonds announced it has sold a 95-carat diamond, discovered at the company’s Gahcho Kue project in the Northwest Territories in May. Reportedly, the top-clarity diamond was the largest gem-quality stone, as well as the fourth largest stone recovered from the mine, since production commenced just under two years ago. Although the company would not reveal the exact price of the diamond, saying it would disadvantage the buyers, Reid Mackie, Mountain Province’s vice president of marketing, said that it has sold for almost three times more than what previously was highest-price diamond sold by the company.

The 95-carat  diamond from Canada’s Gahcho Kue mine. (Photo courtesy of Mountain  Province)


Then, just last week, a Sierra Leone company announced that it has obtained and exported a 144.12-carat rough diamond. The news broke after a licensed diamond exporter brought the stone to the precious-minerals trading department of the National Minerals Agency week for valuation.

The massive, which has been estimated to be worth in excess of $640,000, will be exported for sale abroad, and not put out for tender on the local market, the Sierra Leone government authority stated.

Also reflecting the buoyant rough diamond market, Russia’s rough diamond minIng company Alrosa reported that it has sold 121 stones, all larger than 10.8 carats, for more than $17 million at an auction in Vladivostok in June. According to a company statement, the diamonds had a total weighed of about 2,000 carats, and had fetched an average price of $8,500 per carat, more  than one and a half times their original asking price.

The 114.12-carat rough diamond from Sierra Leone that shortly will be sold outside of the country.