A small, embattled diamond miner just hit the jackpot. The 910-carat stone found by Gem Diamonds high in the mountains of Lesotho in Southern Africa is the fifth-largest in history. Here are the bigger ones: The Cullinan Diamond By far the largest at 3,106 carats, it was found at the Premier mine in SA in 1905 and named after the mine owner, Sir Thomas Cullinan. Discovered just 9m below the surface and jimmied free with a pocket knife, the stone was given to King Edward VII as a birthday present before being sent to Antwerp to be cut into smaller gems. The cutter was said to have fainted under pressure before dividing up the stone. The two biggest cuts — the Great Star of Africa and the Lesser Star of Africa — are set in the Crown Jewels of Britain. The Lesedi La Rona Found in Botswana by Canadian miner Lucara Diamond in 2015, the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona means "our light" in Tswana. Roughly the size of a tennis ball, the fanfare surrounding its discovery soon soured when the ston...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.