Newly-discovered diamond among world's largest ever

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The largest gem-quality diamond ever discovered, the Cullinan Diamond, weighed more than 3,100 carats, almost three times as much as the next biggest.

One of the biggest diamonds on earth has been recovered at the Letseng mine in the mountainous kingdom of Lesotho in southern Africa. The announcement was followed by a sharp rise in the share price of Gem Diamonds Ltd. of more than 15% in the London Stock Exchange. Roughly the size of two golf balls, the precious gem has an estimated value of $US40 million ($50 million). The Letšeng mine is famous for the production of large, top colour, exceptional white diamonds, making it the highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world.

"This has been an unbelievable week for Lucara with the recovery of the second largest and also the sixth largest gem quality diamonds ever mined", Lamb said.

The 910-carat colourless diamond was discovered at the Letseng mine owned by UK-listed firm Gem Diamonds, who claim the stone is the fifth largest in history.

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Clifford Elphick, Gem Diamonds' chief executive officer, said in a press release Monday that the discovery was a "landmark recovery for all of Gem Diamonds' stakeholders".

A mining analyst at Liberum Capital, Ben Davis, speculated in a research note to investors that the diamond could be worth as much as US$40 million (33 million euros). It was also hewn from a rough diamond found in the Premier Mine in 1985.

Back in 2015, Gem Diamonds sold a 357-carat rock for $US19.3 million ($24.2 million), and in 2006 it discovered the 603-carat Lesotho Promise. That diamond was cut and found a place in the British crown jewels.

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