Vivid Yellow Diamond Leads Christie’s New York Jewels Sale

Christie’s New York will offer The Vivid Yellow, a rare, highly saturated fancy vivid yellow diamond of 32.77 carats, as the star lot of its October 18 sale of Magnificent Jewels. The golden yellow hue of this large pear-shaped stone is so intense and so deep that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) ranks it amongst the rarest of gemstones in its class. The stone is expected to achieve in excess of US$6 million.

“The Vivid Yellow literally blazes with color, unlike any yellow diamond I’ve ever seen,” said Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s 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. The appearance of this extraordinary gemstone on the market truly represents a once in a lifetime opportunity for top jewelry collectors.”

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 superbly 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 Vivid Yellow 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 the star lot of Christie’s first major jewelry sale of the fall 2011 auction season, slated to take place October 18, 2011 at Christie’s Rockefeller Plaza flagship in New York. The stone has the potential to surpass the per-carat price of US$203,000 achieved for The Golden Drop, a pear-shaped yellow diamond of 18.49 carats sold in June 1990 at Christie’s London.

Image: The Vivid Yellow Photo: Christie’s Images Ltd 2011.

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