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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 November 2007, 20:44 GMT
Giant white diamond fetches $16m
The 84.37-carat white diamond
The diamond was bought by a California-based businessman
An 84.37 carat white diamond, one of the biggest and brightest ever cut, has sold for just over $16m (7.8m) at auction in Geneva, Sotheby's says.

Roughly equivalent to a quail's egg in size, it took two years to cut and is the biggest such diamond ever to have been put up for sale at auction.

It was bought by Georges Marciano, US-based founder of the clothing firm Guess?, who bid by telephone.

The stone was graded as "D-colour" - the highest possible grading.

"In my 32-year career, this stone ranks among the most beautiful diamonds I have ever seen," said David Bennett of the auction house before the sale.

Pink diamonds, square-cut emeralds and bracelets studded with sapphires also featured in the auction but the catalogue described the huge diamond as "pure perfection".

As for what to do with such a big diamond, Mr Bennett said it might be a little too large for a ring.

He favoured using it for a necklace but a jewellery designer had told him it had to be a bracelet, otherwise the wearer would not be able to see it.

The final stages of the auction

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