Diamond fetches $33.5m at Christie's auction in Geneva

The 163.41 carat diamond has been set in an emerald and diamond necklace. Pic Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The 163-carat stone is the centerpiece of an emerald and diamond studded necklace.

The hammer went down at 29.5 million Swiss francs ($29.7 million), excluding the buyer's premium - around the midpoint of the pre-sale estimates before the auction at Christie's in Geneva.

D is the highest colour grade attributed to a diamond, indicating that the stone is completely colourless, and thus extremely rare.

The necklace is expected to be sold for up to $35 million.

This stone discovered past year in Angola is so pure and so large that even Christie's jewellery director David Warren can't contain his enthusiasm. The rough stone that it was cut from weighed 404 carats.

Previously, Christie's set an auction record in May 2016 with the sale of a 14.62-carat diamond known as the "Oppenheimer Blue" for $50.6m (£34.7m).

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The necklace is made of 18 diamonds on one side and two rows of pear-shaped emeralds on the other.

Christie's said the seller was a private collector, but did not reveal their identity.

Le Grand Mazarin was up for auction for the first time in 130 years, during a sell-off of French crown jewels.

The Geneva autumn auction season concludes on Wednesday, when Sotheby's will auction a pink diamond worth as much as US$30 million.

The white, matchbox-size "Creation 1" diamond from Swiss jeweler de Grisogono weighs a whopping 163 carats.

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