The largest fancy vivid orange diamond known to exist sold for 32.6 million Swiss francs ($36 million) in a Swiss auction by Christie’s International.
The presale estimate on the 14.82-carat pear-shaped gem in Geneva was as much as $20 million, or $1.3 million per carat, the auction house said. The largest orange diamond to appear in auction to date was less than 6 carats. The Geneva fall auction season culminates tomorrow when Sotheby’s (BID) auctions a 59.60-carat internally flawless diamond called the “Pink Star.” It’s valued at more than $60 million, and David Bennett, who will wield the gavel, may break his 2010 record for the most expensive diamond sold in auction if it finds a buyer.
“There are buyers out there for these great rarities,” Bennett said in an interview Nov. 8. “There are moments to offer these things and there are moments when it just doesn’t feel right. This does feel like one of the right moments.” While pink and blue diamonds regularly appear at auctions, the orange stones are much rarer. The last time an orange diamond of the same classifications appeared at auction, it weighed 5.54 carats. Known as “The Pumpkin Diamond,” it fetched $1.3 million at Sotheby’s in 1997, selling to Ronald Winston, a son of the Harry Winston founder.
Christie’s diamond has been with the same anonymous owner for at least 30 years, the auction house said, describing its clarity as VS1.
“As far as orange diamonds go, it has no peer,” Alan Bronstein, a consultant in colored diamonds who knows the stone said before the sale. “It’s unpredictable what a diamond like that can go for. We are entering uncharted waters. ”The most expensive diamond at auction fetched 45.4 million francs at Sotheby’s in Geneva in 2010; the fancy, intense pink stone weighed 24.78 carats and was snapped up by jeweler Laurence Graff. Christie’s also sold a Van Cleef & Arpels Art Deco emerald-and-diamond necklace that belonged to Egyptian Princess Faiza for 3.9 million francs. The auction house called it a “very rare souvenir of pre-revolutionary Egypt in the late 1940s.” A 1926 Cartier necklace with more than 108 carats of emeralds and 59 carats of diamonds commanded 9.1 million francs at Christie’s. It was part of a collection by Bolivian tin tycoon Simon Itturi Patino, known as “The Andean Rockefeller.”
A 1957 Patek Philippe pink-gold watch that adjusts for leap years and is one of six of its kind known to exist sold for $2.2 million at Christie’s yesterday as the auction house sold a record $43.9 million of watches within 24 hours. The sale also included a 1969 Rolex that sold for $1.1 million, a record for the Daytona model and close to a record for that brand.