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15 November 2017, 08:33 | Hattie Nash
Image The rough diamond was 404.20 carats before it was cut. Pic Christie’s
A diamond necklace featuring a flawless 163-carat diamond - the largest of its kind to be auctioned - has fetched $33.5m (£25.5m) at a Christie's event in Geneva.
This marks "a new world-record price for a D colour diamond at auction", Rahul Kadakia, auctioneer and head of Christie's worldwide jewels division, told AFP.
"Early spectrographic testing at the Gemological Institute of America in NY declared the stone to be a D-colour, Type IIA diamond - a variety highly valued for its transparency and colour", Christie's stated in a press release.
But some had expected The Art of Grisogono, which Christie's described as a "masterpiece of unparallelled beauty and exquisite workmanship", to fetch even more. The auction house said it expected the "masterpiece of unparallelled beauty and exquisite workmanship" to fetch around United States dollars 25 million, with other experts saying it could rake in double that amount.
Nonetheless, Rahul Kadakia, auctioneer and head of Christie's worldwide jewels division, said that it was a record price for a D-colour diamond at an auction.
The original, 404.20 carat rough diamond that was mined in eastern Angola - the 27th largest rough white diamond ever discovered. It is set to go under the hammer in Geneva today evening, with bids expected to top United States dollars 25 million. Ten diamond-cutting specialists worked on the rough in NY after it was analysed in Antwerp.
The necklace is made of 18 diamonds on one side and two rows of pear-shaped emeralds on the other.
The buyer's identity has not been revealed. Another highlight of today's auction is the "Le Grand Mazarin", a 19.07-carat light pink diamond, which was once set in the crowns of numerous French kings and emperors, including Napolean.
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