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A spectacular diamond comes up for auction

For sale: the world’s largest diamond of its kind

A spectacular diamond comes up for auction

November 03 2011
Vivienne Becker

The glamorous seasonal Geneva jewel auctions always turn some lights on during dark November, but this year more so than ever as Sotheby’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale, on November 15, is highlighted by one of the rarest, most spectacular diamonds to come to auction for years. The Sun Drop (pictured) is a monumental jonquil yellow diamond of 110.03 carats. A perfect pear shape, its purity is classified as VVSI – a degree or so less than flawless – and its colour as fancy vivid yellow, the highest colour grading, by the Gemological Institute of America. It is the largest known pear-shaped fancy vivid yellow diamond in the world.

The rough diamond was discovered in South Africa in 2010, and cut and polished by New York-based Cora International, specialists in cutting important diamonds. Among the world’s elite collectors and connoisseurs, the appetite for the rarest-of-the-rare coloured diamonds has seemsed insatiable over the past decade. This superlative specimen, combining arresting beauty, strong personality and immense intrinsic and rarity value, hits the market at a time of economic uncertainty when diamonds of this calibre have the added appeal of representing a safe, solid, tangible haven. Its estimate is $11m-$15m.

David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby’s jewellery department in Europe and the Middle East and co-chairman of Sotheby’s Switzerland (known as “the 100 carat man” for the three 100-plus carat diamonds he’s sold) says, “The Sun Drop, with its immense size and tremendous colour, belongs in a rare class of diamonds, way beyond ‘bling’ and best defined by their breathtaking, ‘oh my goodness’ effect.”