Huge yellow diamond fetches record price at auction

Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:24pm EST
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GENEVA (Reuters) - A huge yellow diamond known as the "Sun-Drop Diamond" sold for 11.28 million Swiss francs or $12.36 million, a world record for a yellow diamond, at auction on Tuesday night, Sotheby's said.

The diamond, the world's largest pear-shaped fancy vivid yellow weighing 110.03 carats, was the top lot at Sotheby's semi-annual jewelry sale in Geneva.

The stone was discovered in South Africa last year and cut and polished by New York-based Cora International which put it up for sale, the auction house said in its catalog.

It had a pre-sale estimate of $11-15 million. The hammer price includes the commission paid by the owner, who Sotheby's auctioneer David Bennett said was a private individual who wished to remain anonymous.

"It sold for a record for a yellow diamond ... It was exactly within our expectation for this spectacular stone," Bennett told reporters after the sale.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Tim Pearce)