PICTURES

World's 'largest' orange diamond to be auctioned in Geneva

A Christie's employee displays The Orange, the largest fancy vivid orange diamond in the world, during a press preview in Geneva, Switzerland on Friday, Nov 1, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
A Christie's employee displays The Orange, the largest fancy vivid orange diamond in the world, during a press preview in Geneva, Switzerland on Friday, Nov 1, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
The Orange, the largest fancy vivid orange diamond ever to appear for sale at auction, is shown at Christie's preview in Hong Kong on Oct 28, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
The Orange, the largest fancy vivid orange diamond ever to appear for sale at auction, is shown at Christie's preview in Hong Kong on Oct 28, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A model shows The Orange, the largest fancy vivid orange diamond in the world, during a press preview on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013, in Geneva. -- PHOTO: AFP
A model shows The Orange, the largest fancy vivid orange diamond in the world, during a press preview on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013, in Geneva. -- PHOTO: AFP
A model shows The Orange, the largest fancy vivid orange diamond in the world, during a press preview on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013, in Geneva. -- PHOTO: AFP
A model shows The Orange, the largest fancy vivid orange diamond in the world, during a press preview on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013, in Geneva. -- PHOTO: AFP
A Christie's member of staff displays The Orange, the largest fancy vivid orange diamond in the world, which weighs 14.82 carats during an auction preview in Geneva on Friday, Nov 1, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A Christie's member of staff displays The Orange, the largest fancy vivid orange diamond in the world, which weighs 14.82 carats during an auction preview in Geneva on Friday, Nov 1, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
The Orange, the largest fancy vivid orange diamond to come to auction, will go on sale next week in Switzerland, with the rare gem expected to fetch a record US$17-20 million (up to S$24.8 million), auctioneers said on Friday. -- PHOTO: REU
The Orange, the largest fancy vivid orange diamond to come to auction, will go on sale next week in Switzerland, with the rare gem expected to fetch a record US$17-20 million (up to S$24.8 million), auctioneers said on Friday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

GENEVA (AFP) - The largest orange diamond to come to auction will go on sale next week in Switzerland, with the rare gem expected to fetch a record US$17-20 million (up to S$24.8 million), auctioneers said on Friday.

"It really is an exceptional gemstone, a true 'vivid', in other words one with a particularly intense colour that captures the light on all its facets," said Jean-Marc Lunel, head of the jewellery division at Christie's auctioneers in Geneva during a viewing.

Described by the auctioneer as a "the largest fancy vivid orange diamond in the world", the stone is 14.82 carats and is the size of an almond.

It was found in South Africa, but the name of its seller has not been revealed by Christie's.

Pure orange diamonds, also known as "fire diamonds", are exceptionally rare in nature and very few have been auctioned, with the largest never more than six carats.

The stone will be on sale next Tuesday as part of Christie's traditional November jewellery auction in Geneva.

The following day, rival auctioneers Sotheby's are to sell a flawless 59.60-carat pink diamond, which has an estimated price of US$60 million.