The diamond miner uncovered the D-color stone at the Letseng mine and described the 910-carat diamond as being of "exceptional quality". Gem Diamonds discovered the diamond in the Letseng mine, and it claims that the gem is colorless and radiant and without the yellow tints or impurities that decrease luster, the New York Times reports. It will take jewellers around two years to cut and polish the stone, which is the size of two golf balls.
The largest gem-quality rough diamond ever discovered is the 3106-carat Cullinan diamond that was discovered in South Africa's Premier Mine in 1905.
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Since acquiring Letšeng in 2006, Gem Diamonds has found noew five of the 20 largest white gem quality diamonds ever recovered, which makes the mine the world's highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond operation.
At an average elevation of 3,100 metres (10,000 feet) above sea level, Letšeng is also one of the world's highest diamond mines.
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Local television news footage at the site showed survivors cloaked in blankets trying to warm themselves after their ordeal. Larry Santangelo, 57, said he had just driven into his neighborhood Sunday afternoon when he saw smoke and fire.
Gem Diamonds owns 70 per cent of the Letseng mine and the government of Lesotho owns 30 per cent. "But assuming that there are no large inclusions [flaws] running through the diamond, we initially estimate a sale of $40m".
"This has been an fantastic week for Lucara with the recovery of the second largest and also the sixth largest gem quality diamonds ever mined", Lamb said.
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"Since Gem Diamonds acquired Letseng in 2006, the mine has produced some of the world's most remarkable diamonds, including the 603 carat Lesotho Promise, however, this exceptional top quality diamond is the largest to be mined to date and highlights the unsurpassed quality of the Letseng mine", said Clifford Elphick, Gem Diamonds' Chief Executive Officer in a statement.