The Lesotho Promise

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From the Archives : Originally published September 04th, 2009
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Category : Gems and Treasures





This legendary stone is the world's 15th largest rough diamond ever to be discovered. It was unearthed on 22 August 2006 at the famous Letseng Mine in Lesotho where another famous diamond, the  “Lesotho brown”, was recovered from the same mine field in 1967.

The 603ct (121g.) gem-quality rough stone has been on the cover of almost all magazines and newspapers worldwide. In its rough state, the Lesotho Promise diamond had a value of $12 million. Having an unusual color, the rare diamond has been rated as “D” which is supposed to be the best color for rare diamonds found across the globe.



On 4th October 2006, this diamond was being up for sale in Antwerp. During that time the tender was being floated and the highest bidder got the ownership of the diamond. The famous Lesotho Promise went in the hand of the South African Diamond Corporation (SAFDICO) for US$ 12.4 million. 14 months after being purchased this rare stone was cut in a heart shape and 26 fragments of this diamond were also being sold out totaling 224 carats.


With the help and consultancy of Diamcad, a Belgian technology driven polishing company, Safdico has surpassed even its own expectations of selling the diamond for more than 20 million dollars after cutting.

At first, the Lesotho Promise was studied by engineers using today's most advanced scanning technology for a 5 month period, this to ensure that all possible polishing solutions had been evaluated.

Each lasered piece, carefully resubmitted to scanning as if it were a new rough stone helped recover more carats and yield more stones. World-class craftsmen polished each and every stone to perfection delivering an amazing 26 diamonds ranging from 75 carats to 55 points; all from the highest colour and clarity. The entire production, a unique collection of flawless diamonds, is unrivaled and sets a new standard by Safdico.



In July 2007 the finished stones were unveiled. The largest gem cut from the crystal is a 75 carats (15 g) pear-shaped diamond, and the smallest is a 0.55 carats (110 mg) round brilliant. In all, twenty-six stones were fashioned from the rough gem, figuring as seven pear shapes, four emerald cuts, thirteen round brilliants and one heart shape. The finished gems total 224 carats (45 g).




The Lesotho Promise, is now set on a 223.5-carat necklace decked with 26 white D-flawless diamonds. It’s been tagged ‘the most important diamond necklace ever assembled’

The centerpiece of the necklace, the one that makes one breathless, is a 100-carat pear-shaped D-flawless diamond.


Its price? Estimated at a ‘mere’ $50 million, some potential buyers were turned down and some others proposed buying half the necklace but Lawrence Graff (chairman and founder of the company) declared: “We’ll never split the stones, we’re still waiting.”



All famous diamonds 




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Ralph D. - 9/6/2011 at 5:55 AM GMT
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