One of the worldâ€™s largest diamonds, the 603-carat â€œLesotho Promise Diamond,â€ was sold on Monday for $12.36 million, announced Gem Diamonds, the former owners of the diamond.
The gem, which had been discovered at the Letseng Mine in Lesotho in southern Africa, was considered the largest ever found this century and the 15th largest overall.
South African Mining Corporation won the bid at an auction in Antwerp, Belgium. Other bidders included Alain Sternberg Bvba, Rosy Blue and Omega Diamonds.
â€œThis has been a fantastic day for the Letseng Diamond Mine and for the people of Lesotho. To have achieved such a high price and to have attracted the interest of all the diamond industry in one of our country's diamonds is very gratifying. We look forward to continued success at Letseng in the future,â€ said Lesotho's Minister of Natural Resources, Dr Khaketla in a statement.
The largest diamond previously found in Lesotho was the 601-carat Lesotho Brown recovered in 1967. Another world famous southern African diamond is the 3,106.75-carat Cullinan diamond, which was split in two and used as one of the British Royal familyâ€™s crown jewels.