478-carat diamond lights up Dubai conference

Dubai, United Arab Emirates — A nearly 500-carat rough diamond recovered from a mine in Africa earlier this year made its public debut—and received its official name—during a press conference on Saturday in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The stone, a massive 478-carat rock from the Letseng Mine in the African kingdom of Lesotho, is now known as "Leseli la Letseng," which means, "she is the light of Letseng."

During the press conference, Tusetso Sello-Mafatle, the government-appointed director of Letseng Diamonds (Pty) Ltd., a 30-70 percent partnership between the government of Lesotho and Gem Diamonds, said the diamond is a symbol of Lesotho's economic potential, and she hopes it will go a long way in promoting the country.

"She marks the power, the flawlessness of the diamonds from Letseng," Sello-Mafatle said of the stone.

When polished, Leseli la Letseng has the potential to produce a round diamond of about 150 carats, making it the largest polished round diamond in the world, dwarfing the current largest, which weighs in at about 100 carats, according to Clifford Elphick, chairman of Letseng Diamonds.

The stone is the 20th largest rough diamond ever recovered and is flawless, Elphick said, as far as they can tell at this point.

Read more at: www.nationaljewelernetwork.com

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