Sun-Drop Diamond Fetches $12.3M

Rare yellow gem goes for record price
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2011 1:27 AM CST
Updated Nov 16, 2011 2:05 AM CST
Sun-Drop Diamond Fetches $12.3M
Aa Sotheby's employee displays the Sun-Drop diamond.   (AP Photo/Keystone/Salvatore Di Nolf, File)

(Newser) – A dazzling 110-carat yellow diamond has fetched $12.3 million at a Sotheby's auction, a record for a diamond of its kind, and the eighth-highest price ever paid for a diamond. The gem, named the Sun-Drop, was found in South Africa last year and given the "fancy, vivid yellow" grading, the highest possible for its color, the BBC reports. The gem's color is caused by nitrogen that became trapped in carbon molecules and hardened over millions of years.

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"We are thrilled with the price achieved by this spectacular daffodil yellow diamond; it is one of the most impressive I have had the pleasure of selling,” a Sotheby's exec tells Forbes. The price was within the range Sotheby's had predicted before the sale, although some had expected it to go for closer to the $46 million a rare pink diamond fetched last year. "When it gets to this price there are only half a dozen people who can actually participate," said a Geneva jewel trader. "If they decide they already have a similar stone, then the price doesn't go up." (Read more Sotheby's stories.)

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