Orange Diamond the Size of an Almond Auctioned for Record $35.5M

Image: Orange Diamond the Size of an Almond Auctioned for Record $35.5M

Wednesday, 13 Nov 2013 09:17 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A massive 14.82-carat orange diamond the size of an almond shattered records and expectations when it sold for more than $35.5 million at an auction in Geneva on Tuesday.

The fancy vivid orange diamond was only expected to fetch $21 million at Christie's Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale in Switzerland Tuesday, but bidders quickly drove up the price for the rare jewel. It ultimately sold for 29 million francs ($31.6 million, or $35,531,974 million after fees and commissions).

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"Time and again, a stone will appear on the market that is truly a miracle of nature," Fran├žois Curiel, International head of Christie's Jewelry Department, said in a statement obtained by Forbes. "The 14.82-carat orange diamond is one such a stone, a rare gem, which will perhaps only be seen once in a lifetime. In the sale on Tuesday, it soared far above all previous records for any orange diamond ever sold at auction, placing The Orange among the greatest pinks and blues, which are traditionally the most appreciated colored diamonds."  

The orange diamond is believed to be the largest in the world, and at least three times bigger than any other on record.

"Strongly colored diamonds in the orange hue range rarely exceed three or four carats in size when polished," the Gemological Institute of America said in a statement. "[This diamond] is almost four times larger than that size range. In GIA’s colored diamond grading system, as the color appearance of strongly colored diamonds transitions from orangy yellow to orange the occurrence becomes progressively more rare — that is — the less yellow present the more rarely they occur."

Sotheby's auction house is rumored to be featuring a vivid, 59.6-carat pink diamond Wednesday at the Christie's sale, according to The Associated Press. The gem carries an estimated worth of more than $60 million.  

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