Green diamond shatters auction world record

A 5.03 carat fancy vivid green diamond called 'The Aurora Green' sells for US$16.8 million.

HONG KONG (Reuters) - At little more than five carats, "The Aurora Green" is the world's largest green diamond ever to appear at auction and it sold for a world record price in Hong Kong.

The Christie's auctioneer said, "The last lot of our sale today is the superb Aurora diamond. The largest fancy vivid green diamond to appear for sale at auction anywhere in the world. The largest and finest green diamond. At 100 million (Hong Kong dollars, S$17.7 million), in the room. Sold for you sir, 115 million dollars."

The HK$115 million price tag - plus commissions and fees - equals a whopping US$16.8 million (S$23.2 million).

"That comes to about three and a half million dollars per carat," said Mr Francois Curiel, Christie's Asia Pacific chairman. "What is very special about green diamonds is that there are very few of them. And there are a few of them below one carat but to have a stone of five carats. I've been 47 years in this business and I have never seen one. I've never seen one which is as green as this one was. There are some brown-green, some grey-green, some sort of off-colour green. But green, green like this one I have never seen."

It was a sparkling end to a sale which also marked Christie's 250th global anniversary.