This gemstone is Type IIa, meaning it has few or no impurities, which is exceptionally rare. It is thought to be the largest pink diamond in history ever to be recovered, Storm Mountain said.
Storm Mountain, which is jointly owned by Namakwa Diamonds Limited and the Government of Lesotho, says the diamond weighs in at 108.39ct and was recovered at its Kao mine in Lesotho. It has not yet been named, a Storm Mountain spokesperson told News24.
In July 2022, the BBC reported that the Lulo Rose, found in Angola, was the largest pink diamond to be found in 300 years. At 170 carats, it was understood to be the biggest since the famous Daria-i-Noor, which is now known as one of Iran's national jewels. The Daria-i-Noor is 185 carats, though it is believed be the largest part of a bigger diamond that was cut into two.
The Kao mine, which is in the Butha-Buthe district, mines the biggest kimberlite pipe in Lesotho and has produced a number of exceptional pink diamonds. In recent years, these include the Pink Eternity (47.81ct) in 2022, the Pink Dawn (25.97ct) and Pink Palesa (21.68ct) in 2021, as well as the Rose of Kao (29.59ct) in 2018.
The latest diamond breaks the company's own records, however. Previously, the largest diamond ever found by Storm Mountain was the Pink Eternity, which it sold in 2022.
Pink diamonds are rarer than white diamonds and often fetch higher prices. In 2022, a private collector paid $57.7 million (over R1 billion), a record price per carat, for the 11.15-carat Williamson Pink Star – which had attracted another 50 bids.
Lesotho Minister of Natural Resources Mohlomi Moleko has commented of the diamond that "it is one of the most significant diamonds found to date in Lesotho".