Wednesday, October 26, 2011

World’s largest fancy vivid yellow diamond tipped to fetch £10m at auction

It is one of the most sought-after diamonds in the world and so rare it was once said to be impossible to value.
But now the dazzling Cora Sun-Drop gem is tipped to make £10 million when it appears at auction next month.

Roughly the size of a woman's thumb and 110 carats it is thought to be the largest vivid yellow pear-shaped diamond in existence.

It was discovered last year in South Africa and is currently owned by New York-based diamond manufacturer Cora International.

Now bidders will have the chance to get their hands on the prized gemstone at Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels sale held in Geneva on 15 November.

It has been given a pre-sale price of £6.9 million - £9.4 million ($11m-$15m) but many anticipate that it will exceed this estimate.

Sotheby's Switzerland co-chairman David Bennett said: 'This stone has immense presence and is truly stunning.

'It is also one of the largest diamonds ever to have appeared at auction.'

In February the Sun-Drop attracted crowds of admirers when it went on display at London's Natural History Museum alongside some of the world's rarest treasures.

At the time Alan Hart, the Natural History Museum's minerals curator, told BBC News: 'I've never seen a stone such as this.

'A one-carat diamond is what most people are familiar with, and are really pleased to own. You can see how exceptional this diamond is.'

The unusual yellow colour of the Sun-Drop stems from the very small percentage of nitrogen within the carbon structure of the stone.

Diamonds with a strong saturated colour represent only a tiny percentage of all natural diamonds, and when it is more than 100 carats, it takes on a historic significance as so few exist.

Over recent weeks the precious stone has been on an international tour, showcased with other lot items which include intricate diamond rings, bangles and brooches.

Sotheby’s Geneva has a renowned history of selling exceptional diamonds.

Last year The Graff Pink diamond- a fancy intense pink diamond of almost 25 carats- was sold for $46.1 million setting a new world record for any jewel auctioned.

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