“The Orange,” a magnificent 14.82-carat fancy vivid orange diamond, lived up to its pre-auction hype yesterday when it sold for $35.53 million and crushed two world records at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels event in Geneva. The gem had been estimated to sell in the range of $17 million to $20 million.
The last time an orange diamond of this quality hit the auction circuit was 2011 when a 4.19-carat vivid orange diamond fetched $2.96 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong. “The Orange” bested that sale price by a factor of 12, and its price per carat of $2.395 million established a new high for any diamond of any color.
Another record could fall tomorrow at Sotheby’s Geneva when “The Pink Star” hits the auction block. The 59.60-carat flawless vivid pink diamond is estimated to fetch more than $60 million, which would be the highest price ever paid for a gemstone at auction.
“The Orange,” an almond size, VS1 clarity, pear-shape stunner, is the largest orange diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America. The diamond owes its extremely rare, natural orange color to a faint trace of nitrogen in its chemical composition.
According to Forbes.com, several bidders at the auction venue — the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues — competed with phone bidders for the privilege of owning the rare orange gem. The bidding started at 10 million francs (about $10.89 million) and quickly escalated to 20 million francs. The record-setting bid of 32.65 million francs was met with applause from many of the 200 gem lovers in attendance.
The winning bid was equivalent to $31.6 million, but the official final price was $35.53 million after fees and commissions.