September 28, 2011 / 3:33 PM / 6 years ago

Vivid Yellow 33-carat diamond to lead NY gem sale

3 Min Read

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Vivid Yellow super-saturated pear shaped diamond weighing nearly 33 carats could sell for up to $8 million when it auctioned next month, Christie's said on Wednesday.

It is one of several diamonds expected to fetch millions at the October 18 sale in New York, which kicks off the global jewelry auction season.

An oval cut 25.74 carat D-color diamond ring has pre-sale estimate of $3.5 million to $5 million and a 3.21 carat pear shaped Fancy Vivid blue diamond ring is valued at up to $3 million.

"As we meet with collectors and dealers around the world in the run-up to this autumn season, it is clear that demand for rare and important jewelry remains as strong as ever," said Rahul Kadakia, head of jewelry for Christie's Americas.

"Recent top prices for colored and colorless diamonds and gemstones have helped bring some spectacular jewels into the marketplace," he added in a statement.

More than 340 items of jewelry will be for sale at the auction.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA), which grades, identifies and evaluates important diamonds, ranked the rare, deeply saturated yellow diamond as among the rarest in its class.

Kadakia described a stone of such depth of color and size as "a freak occurrence," and said it was a once in a lifetime opportunity for collectors.

GIA classified the unmounted pear-shaped gem as fancy vivid, which is used only for the most highly saturated colored diamonds, or roughly one in 10 million. Yellow diamonds get their color from nitrogen replacing carbon atoms in the diamond's structure. The more nitrogen absorbed, the deeper the color.

Christie's said the stone could surpass the per-carat price of $203,000 achieved by the 18.49-carat Golden Drop yellow diamond sold in London in 1990.

Experts agree that prices for colored diamonds are on the rise. Christie's said it has seen strong gains in per-carat prices for high-quality colored and colorless diamonds in recent years, perhaps owing to stock market volatility.

"Jewels have long been regarded as a very stable and highly portable store of wealth over the long term, so an upward trend in tangible, portable assets like diamonds is not wholly unexpected during times of economic turmoil," Kadakia said.

The sale also includes fancy colored diamonds in shades of pink, blue or green, with a 3.21 carat Fancy Vivid blue diamond ring expected to fetch $2.5 million to $3 million.

Editing by Patricia Reaney; Reuters Messaging

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