Huge 1,000 carat diamond sold at auction in Dubai

The yellow-orange rock is unusual in terms of its look and composition

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A 1,086-carat diamond, the largest of its kind to be auctioned in Dubai, has been sold for an undisclosed amount.

The huge yellow-orange rock is unusual in terms of not only its look, but also its composition.

It is not one crystal, but several merged together, giving it its distinctive colour.

The gem-quality stone is from a mine in Southern Africa, said Martin Leake, a special adviser on diamonds to the Dubai Diamond Exchange at Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC).

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It is a very speculative stone and it will be up to the buyers to try and unravel what polished outcomes will be possible
Martin Leake, adviser on diamonds to the Dubai Diamond Exchange

“This is a very unusual diamond in that it is not one crystal, but rather a number of diamond crystals merged together, which is a natural gemological feature,” he said.

“Some of these individual crystals are darker than others and therefore give a yellow-orange glow.

“It is a very speculative stone and it will be up to the buyers to try and unravel what polished outcomes will be possible.”

It was sold in at an online auction earlier this week, generating huge interest among potential buyers.

“Given the exceptional size of this gem-quality rough diamond, experts have flown in from across the world to view it,” said Mr Leake.

“Viewing appointments were at full capacity throughout the five-day tender.”

The gem was sold at an online auction earlier this week.

The company that held the tender, Koin International, would not reveal the price it fetched. But it could be considerable, as "fancy diamonds" as they are known, can be very valuable.

It is not known what colour the diamond will be after it is polished, but coloured gems are possible and rare.

Diamonds are normally graded on the absence of colour, because colourless diamonds are the rarest, according to Gemological Institute of America. And even the slightest hint of colour can affect a normal diamond’s value.

But fancy diamonds, which are those outside the normal colour range and created via changes in their chemical structure as they form, can fetch vast sums.

They account for only 0.1 per cent of all diamonds, with colours ranging from pink to purple, red, blue, yellow, brown and every colour in between, according to the Gem Society.

Red diamonds are the rarest, with only 20 to 30 in existence. They cost on average more than $1 million per carat. The largest sold was 5.11 carats and was bought for $8 million, which is $1.6 million per carat.

Yellow is the most common colour for fancy diamonds, accounting for more than half the market.

The most expensive yellow diamond ever sold was the Graff Vivid Yellow. It weighed 100.90 carats, selling for $16.3 million in 2020.

The world’s largest fancy black natural-colour diamond was on show at Sotheby’s in the Dubai International Financial Centre earlier this month.

Acknowledged as one of the world’s rarest gems, The Pink Star diamond made history when it was auctioned by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong in 2017, becoming the most expensive jewel sold at auction.

Sotheby's unveils rare 555-carat black diamond in Dubai — in pictures

Updated: February 10, 2022, 11:23 AM
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