RAPAPORT... Gem Diamonds has sold two large rough white diamonds from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho for a total of $22.7 million, or $59,833 per carat. The stones weighing 196 carats and 184 carats respectively were sold at tender to Johannesburg-based SAFDICO, which is partly owned by Laurence Graff, Brian Gutkin and Johnny Kneller.
“It is very pleasing that Letšeng’s diamonds continue to attract strong prices and I congratulate SAFDICO on their purchase of these two remarkable diamonds of top color and outstanding clarity which are testament to the enduring value of the diamonds that Letšeng continues to produce,” said Clifford Elphick, chief executive officer of Gem Diamonds.
SAFDICO has notched up a number of Letšeng’s special stones, including the 478-carat 'Leseli la Letšeng’ and the 603-carat Lesotho Promise. Gem Diamonds, reported that the world’s leading diamantaires participated in the tender, which closed in Antwerp on November 24.
The company further reported that its November tender achieved an average price of $2,341 per carat, excluding the 196 carat and 184 carat sales. The sale was the second that the company hosted in-house as part of its new marketing strategy, and represents a continued strength in Letšeng prices after its October tender achieved an average $2,422 per carat. Sales during the third quarter indicated an average price of $1,680 per carat.
The November sale included a 4.68 carat rough blue diamond, which sold for $155,000 per carat, the highest price per carat achieved for a Letšeng rough diamond to date, Gem Diamonds reported.
* Pictured: 184-carats Letseng rough diamond. Courtesy Gem Diamonds.