Dlawless 163-carat diamond fetches $49.4 million in Geneva auction

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Described as "the most attractive diamond in the world", the 163.41 carat flawless D-colour emerald-cut diamond was auctioned off at Christie's in the Swiss city on Tuesday evening, and had an original guide price of £23m.

A flawless 163-carat clear diamond fetched about $US34 million ($49.4 million) at Christie's in Geneva. The stone was the largest of its kind ever auctioned. Experts, however, are bitterly disappointed as they had expected the diamond to be sold for at least £12 million more.

"The Art of de Grisogono is one fabulous Christmas present and wallflowers need not apply", Tobias Kormind, head of the 77 Diamonds firm that tracks the global diamond market, said in a statement.

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A team of 10 specialists in NY cut the jewel from a rough 404-carat stone discovered in Angola previous year, the biggest diamond ever found in that country.

The rough was analysed in Antwerp and cut in NY, where a team of 10 diamond-cutting specialists were involved in mapping, plotting, cleaving, laser-cutting and polishing the giant rough rock into a polished, flawless diamond.

Set in an emerald and diamond necklace, the massive gem had been on tour to Hong Kong, London, Dubai and NY. Christie's said that the designer took more than 1,700 hours to make to make the necklace. It is the eighth diamond of over 100 carats recovered this year.

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Diamonds are one of the world's best-known and most precious and sought-after gemstones since ancient times.

Founder of the Swiss jewellery maker, Fawaz Gruosi, has described the gem as "the most attractive diamond in the world".

He pointed out that when rival auction house Sotheby's sold an 118.28-carat flawless D diamond in 2013, it was sold for $30.6 million.

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