‘The Orange’ – 14 carat, $20 Million – a new bar for Orange Diamonds

October 13th, 2013 by Noam Flint

When jewelry lovers begin paying attention to colored diamonds, they typically are drawn to colors like pink or yellow. These hues have the largest market demand and are among the most common finds when it comes to colored diamonds. Although other shades make a splash when they come on the scene, few have an impact that rare orange diamonds do.

The Orange - 14.82 carat vivid orange diamond THE ORANGE
The largest vivid orange diamond in the world
Image by Christie’s

‘The Orange’

Fans of orange diamonds will want to pay attention to the upcoming Christie’s Geneva auction, which will feature a show-stopping gem known simply as “The Orange.” This fancy vivid orange diamond weighs in at 14.82 carats and features a gorgeous pear shape. It is expected to headline Christie’s auction of Magnificent Jewels thanks to its rare color, excellent clarity and impressive size.

“It’s very, very good, but it has natural imperfections,” Alan Bronstein, a diamond consultant who knows the stone, told Bloomberg. “As far as orange diamonds go, it has no peer. It’s unpredictable what a diamond like that can go for. We are entering uncharted waters.”

It’s odd that a gem this spectacular hasn’t entered the public eye before. For 30 years, “The Orange” has been in the private collection of an anonymous owner, and its first foray into the limelight will come when prospective buyers get a glimpse of the stone at the auction. Early estimates have the orange diamond selling for approximately $17 million to $20 million at November’s auction.

A record-breaking diamond

Because “The Orange” boasts such a bold shade, it stands apart from similar colored diamonds. Also called fire diamonds, these stones are usually found in secondary colors that tend to feature more yellowish tones. The few that have been polished and sold at an auction have been less than six carats – and “The Orange” is more than twice that size.

Pure orange diamonds are among the rarest gems in the world, which makes a find of this size, color and quality particularly special. Even the Gemological Institute of America delivered high praise to the stone for these categories.

“In the laboratory’s experience, strongly colored diamonds in the orange hue rarely exceed three or four carats in size when polished,” the GIA claimed. “[This diamond] is almost four times larger than that size range. In GIA’s colored diamond grading system, as the color appearance of strongly colored diamonds transitions from yellow to orange the occurrence becomes progressively more rare – that is, the less yellow present, the more rarely they occur.”

Christie’s auction

This precious gem is just one of the many colored diamonds that have made waves recently. With all of the hype surrounding these stones, the anticipation for Christie’s Nov. 12 auction is reaching a high point. “The Orange” is only one quality jewels that are scheduled to go up for auction at the Geneva sale. There are more than 280 lots that are slated to be included in this sale – some of which are sure to draw a fair amount of attention.

One of the most-publicized items includes an art deco emerald and diamond necklace that once belonged to Egypt’s Princess Faiza, daughter of King Fouad, which is expected to sell for up to $3.7 million. A $4.5 million pearl and diamond necklace and a $2.8 million ruby and colored diamond ring are also set to command plenty of attention and high bids during the November sale.

“With the magnificent Patino emerald suite and diamond ring, the Princess Faiza emerald drop necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels, the stylish jewels of Madame Helene Rochas, a Princely Art Deco emerald and diamond sautoir by Cartier, a Royal natural pearl necklace and the largest vivid orange diamond in the world, Christie’s Geneva is proud to offer collectors the best of the best in the world of jewelry on Nov. 12,” said Rahul Kadakia, head of jewelry for Christie’s Switzerland and Americas.

Although these other pieces will command plenty of attention, it is “The Orange” that will likely steal the show, just as a few orange diamonds have done before it.

‘The Pumpkin Diamond’

Before “The Orange” came on the scene, the largest orange diamond ever sold was “The Pumpkin Diamond.” That 5.54-carat stone was the only other fancy vivid orange diamond to sell at an auction – other peers have not been on the same level with regard to their color and quality. “The Pumpkin Diamond” was notable for its intense light color, which featured some brown undertones.

It was sold at a Sotheby’s auction in 1997 to Ronald Winston of Harry Winston Inc. for $1.3 million. He set the stone in a ring and surrounded it with two smaller white diamonds, and the piece was worn by Halle Berry to the Academy Awards in 2002 when she won the Best Actress trophy. It is currently valued at more than $3 million.

With that said, just to help you understand the importance of the actual color and how each diamond is unique and different we have gathered for you six diamonds from our collection. As you can see, each diamond is different. But the fact is that they were all graded the same by the GIA – Natural Fancy Vivid Yellow Orange.

Pumpkin Diamonds Vivid Yellow 
Orange Diamonds
Pumpkin Diamonds – GIA Vivid Yellow Orange Diamonds

To view all of the lots at Christie’s, visit here