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Friday, September 21, 2012

76-Carat Archduke Joseph Diamond Expected to Fetch $15 Million

The Archduke Joseph Diamond ©Tony Falcone

It has royal origins and was owned by royalty and now the legendary Archduke Joseph Diamond will be offered at Christie’s auction in Geneva on November 13. The auction house says it is one of the rarest and most famous diamonds in the world that combines an impressive size of 76.02 carats, perfect color, and internally flawless clarity.

Christie’s says the estimate is available on request but it is expected to achieve $15 million in the upcoming auction.

Its origin is traced to the ancient Golconda mines in Central India, the source of the world’s most coveted historical diamonds, including the Koh-i-noor, in the Royal Collection at the Tower of London; the Regent, considered the finest diamond in the French Crown Jewels, at the Musée du Louvre in Paris; and the Hope, gifted by Harry Winston to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.

This same diamond “created a sensation when Christie’s Geneva offered it for sale the first time in November 1993 where it realized CHF 9.7 million (US$ 6.5 million)—the equivalent of $10.5 million today,” said François Curiel, International Head of Christie’s Jewellery Department. “The magic of auction sometimes brings back great gems to our salerooms more than once.”

Although it is not known exactly when the diamond entered the House of Habsburg, it has been officially recorded as the property of the Archduke Joseph August of Austria, Palatine of Hungary (1872-1962), and was subsequently named after him.

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