110 Carat Yellow Diamond Wins Record Price at Auction

A much-talked-about 110.03 ct. fancy vivid yellow diamond called the Sun-Drop sold to an anonymous buyer for $12.4 million (11.3 million Swiss Francs) at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels Auction in Geneva on Nov. 15, setting a world record price for a yellow stone.

Strikingly, the previous record for a yellow stone was set just last month by the Vivid Yellow, a pear?shape fancy vivid 32.77 ct. yellow diamond that sold for $6.5 million at Christie’s in October.

The VVS1-clarity Sun-Drop, cut and polished by Cora International, was exhibited earlier this year at London’s National History Museum and ranks as the largest known pear-shape fancy vivid yellow diamond in the world. (Fancy vivid yellow is the highest color grade for a yellow issued by the GIA.) The rough was discovered in South Africa in 2010.

“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,” said David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby’s jewelry department in Europe and the Middle East and co?chairman of Sotheby’s Switzerland, in a statement. “The SunDrop Diamond has immense presence and is truly stunning.… Today’s strong sell?through rates are a reflection of the continued strength and resilience of the international jewelry market.”

And that wasn’t the only record set at the Geneva auction: A very fine 12.01 ct. Muzo emerald ring sold for $1.4 million—a world record price per carat for an emerald—more than doubling its estimate. That buyer was also anonymous.

Other auction highlights:

  • A rare cushion-shape 38.88 ct. diamond sold for $6.9 million.
  • A fancy vivid blue 4.16 ct. diamond ring sold for $4.2 million to an anonymous buyer.
  • A natural pearl and diamond necklace from Cartier in the 1930s sold for $3 million.