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Leibish & Co
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
32-Ct. Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond May Fetch $8M at Christie's Auction
The Vivid Yellow, a rare, highly saturated, fancy vivid yellow diamond of 32.77 carats will be the star lot of Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels sale on October 18. The golden yellow hue of this large pear-shaped stone is so intense and so deep that the Gemological Institute of America ranks it among the rarest of gemstones in its class. The stone is expected to achieve in excess of $6 million.
“The Vivid Yellow literally blazes with color, unlike any yellow diamond I’ve ever seen,” said Rahul Kadakia, head of Jewelry for Christie’s Americas. “In the world of diamonds, a naturally colored stone of this incredible color and size represents a freak occurrence—an extremely rare geological phenomenon.”
Yellow diamonds gain their color from nitrogen replacing carbon atoms in the diamond’s structure. Where there is less nitrogen present, the resulting stone may be light or “faint” in color. In the case of The Vivid Yellow, the stone’s atoms absorbed an unusually high level of aggregated nitrogen, giving it a saturated golden yellow color.
The uncommon nature of this particular diamond’s color intensity has been reconfirmed by the GIA, whose gem laboratory is devoted to the grading and identifying of important diamonds. In its grading report for the stone, the GIA classifies the diamond as “Fancy Vivid”—the highest saturation one can find in a colored diamond. Only about one in 10 million diamonds possesses a color pure enough to qualify as fancy vivid.
In addition, the report notes that the original rough stone from which The Vivid Yellow was cut must have possessed an extraordinary intensity and thus required no modified faceting in the cutting process to help bring out the color.
“Large fancy vivid yellow diamonds such as this pear shape are rarely encountered at the GIA and come to market very infrequently,” the report states.
The unmounted diamond, which is about the size and shape of a guitar pick, will be part of Christie’s first major jewelry sale of the fall 2011 auction season, slated to take place October 18, at Christie’s Rockefeller Plaza flagship in New York. The international auction house said the stone has the potential to surpass the per-carat price of $203,000 achieved for The Golden Drop, a pear-shaped yellow diamond of 18.49 carats sold in 1990 at Christie’s London.
Christie’s has arranged a global preview tour of the diamond prior to its sale. The diamond will be on view at the following dates and locations:
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I am a freelance writer and editor who covers the luxury jewelry and watch industry for several publications, including Forbes.com the Financial Times, Hong Kong-based JewelleryNetAsiaand the Italian jewelry magazine, VO+. In addition, I have my own blog covering the jewelry and watch industry, Jewelry News Network.