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Massive Diamond Discovered

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CNN reported yesterday that a honking big diamond was discovered at the Letseng Mine in the Kingdom of Lesotho. The gargantuan gem is 478 carats and a D color, the “highest possible graded color you can get,” says diamond consultants.

The article reminded me of Tom Zoellner’s excellent 2006 nonfiction book The Heartless Stone: A Journey Through the World of Diamonds, Deceit, and Desire. You might recall my interview with Zoellner.

In researching his engrossing book, Zoellner visited fourteen nations in six continents. He didn’t go to Lesotho, but he did discuss the Cullinan Diamond, the largest gem ever discovered. That stone was so massive that it was cut and polished into nine separate jewels, including a 530 carat chunk included in the crown jewels of Great Britain.

The CNN article does not state if this most recent diamond discovery involved smugglers, children, or body parts in any way, a tragic side effect of the diamond industry examined in Zoellner’s unflinching book.