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Yellow diamond fetches SFr11.28 million at auction

Yellow is the top colour grading for a diamond Keystone

The world's largest known yellow diamond has been sold at auction in Geneva for SFr11.28 ($12.36 million), within the estimate set by auction house Sotheby's.

The pear-shaped diamond was sold by New York-based company Cora International, which discovered the rare jewel in South Africa last year. It was bought by a telephone bidder.

The diamond’s value had been estimated at $11 million to $15 million. It was displayed on an international tour before going under the hammer.

Gemologists rate the 110.3 carat diamond as “fancy vivid yellow”, the highest possible colour grading.

The colour in yellow diamonds is caused by nitrogen impurities trapped within carbon molecules and hardened over the course of millions of years.

The sales price doesn’t include the auctioneer’s commission and any taxes the buyer might have to pay.

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