Naturally Colored Diamond Blog

The Beautiful Orange Diamond: One Of History's Unique Diamonds

Posted by Tony Cathaway on 5/25/17 9:38 AM

While The Orange Diamond is one of the most significant finds in the history of fancy colored diamonds, there is little to no information regarding its early history. Virtually nothing is known about the mine it was excavated from (although it is thought to be located in South Africa), the date it was discovered, the characteristics of the initial rough, and the person or company responsible for processing and cutting the stone to its present state.

orange diamond

However, despite all that, it has still managed to become one of the most significant finds in Fancy Colored Diamond history. Let’s explore why this diamond is so special.

Why It's So Unique

Before this magnificent pear cut, 14.82 carat, Fancy Vivid Orange diamond made its appearance in late 2013, the title of largest Fancy Vivid Orange stone belonged to the “Pumpkin Diamond.” Considered to be the only diamond of its caliber, this cushion cut, 5.54 carat, Fancy Vivid Orange diamond was purchased at Sotheby’s New York auction for $1.3 million by Ronald Winston, on October 30, 1997.

Let’s put this event into perspective. Diamonds with a pure orange color (without any modifiers and undertones) are extremely rare; and when they are found, they do not exceed the 4-carat range. This is not just another beautiful large stone; it’s the first fancy vivid orange diamond exceeding 4 carats in 16 years. Furthermore, The Orange Diamond does not only exceed the average size, it surpasses it by almost 4x. It’s safe to assume that another fancy vivid orange diamond of that size and caliber may in fact not materialize any time soon.

What Else Is Special?

Apart from being the largest Fancy Vivid Orange diamond in the world, The Orange Diamond also has another unique characteristic. It has officially been characterized as a Type la stone by the GIA.

Generally speaking, orange diamonds are Type lb and the nitrogen atoms responsible for their color (absorbing light in the blue end of the spectrum) are evenly scattered as single entities throughout the stone’s crystal lattice. This is not the case for this stone and all other Type la diamonds. The nitrogen atoms in these types of gems are grouped together in aggregates of 2, 3, or 4, often giving an infrared absorption spectrum.

The Price

This magnificent stone was sold at Christie's Geneva Magnificent Jewels Auction, held on November 12, 2013. It was at that time that the diamond fetched a very respectable $35.5 million, exceeding its highest pre-auction estimate by 1.9X. This meant 2 things:

  • It broke the record for the highest price paid for a colored diamond at a public auction (until that time), yielding approximately $2.4 million per carat.
  • It set the record for the highest price to ever be paid for a Fancy Vivid Orange diamond at an auction.

What do you like most about this diamond? What's your favorite type of colored diamond? Leave us a comment below or connect with us on Facebook or TwitterWe hope you enjoyed this article as much as we enjoyed writing it. 


For more reading on colored diamonds, check out the link below. 

New Call-to-action

Topics: Insider

Arpege_CTA

Colored Diamond Insights

It's like your own knowledge repository!

The world of naturally colored investment diamonds and jewlery is fascinating! 

Auction prices hitting new heights, stars and entertainers wearing new fancy colored diamonds, and backstories on some of the most iconic colored diamonds of all time. 

You won't want to miss one of our insightful posts!  Sign up to receive a notice every time we add a new piece of content.

Subscribe to Email Updates