The largest vivid orange diamond ever to appear at auction is expected to fetch between $17 million and $20 million at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva on November 12.
Aptly named “The Orange,” the 14.82-carat pear-shape gem boasts a rich, saturated color reminiscent of an orange peel or pumpkin. Its clarity rating is VS1, which means is has only very slight imperfections.
The Orange is more than twice the size of the previous orange diamond record holder, "The Pumpkin Diamond," a 5.54-carat modified cushion-cut gem that sold for $1.3 million (or $234,657 per carat) at Sotheby's in 1997. The Orange has a legitimate shot at achieving $1.35 million per carat.
Pure orange diamonds, also known as “fire diamonds,” are exceptionally rare in nature and hardly ever hit the auction circuit — especially in large sizes. The orange color is the result of the presence of nitrogen during the diamond’s creation.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) confirmed, “In the Laboratory’s experience, strongly colored diamonds in the orange hue range rarely exceed three or four carats in size when polished. [This diamond] is almost four times larger than that size range.”
The GIA also noted that diamonds become progressively more rare as the GIA color scale transitions from yellow-orange to pure orange.
"[The Orange] is great because stones of this nature, of this color, are not just looked at for their size, color, clarity and price per carat; they're looked at as works of art,” said Rahul Kadakia, Head of Jewelry, Christie's Switzerland and Americas. “This is, indeed, a great work of art in the world of gems and jewelry."
The Orange will headline the 280+ lots at Christie’s Geneva sale on November 12. Among the other notable items under the auction hammer will be pieces from the collection of style icon Helene Rochas, as well as 130 carats of Colombian emeralds from tin magnate Simon Patino.