Christie’s Auction for the Archduke Joseph Diamond
On November 13th, Christie’s Geneva will auction the legendary Archduke Joseph Diamond for the second time. The same stone was seen nine years ago, when Christie’s Geneva offered it up to the winning bidder for a cool $6.5 million, the equivalent of approximately $10.5 million today.
The diamond carries with it a respected succession of owners as well as a renowned origin. It was mined from the ancient Golconda region in Central India, the source of the world’s most coveted historical diamonds such as the Koh-i-Noor, the Regent (considered the finest diamond in the French Crown Jewels), and the Hope Diamond in the Smithsonian. The Archduke Joseph is a good example of Golconda quality – it combines impressive size at 76.02 carats with top color and internally flawless clarity.
The name betrays its’ royal ownership, as it was named after the Archduke Joseph August (1872-1962) a prince of the Hungarian line of the Hapsburg Dynasty. The Archduke was a descendant of the Emperor Leopold II, son of Empress Maria Theresa. Although it is not known exactly when the diamond entered the House of Hasburg, it was first recorded as being the property of the Archduke and therefore adopted his name as well.
There are very few Golcondan diamonds left, and this rare specimen is extremely prized. Christie’s estimates it will pull in a winning bid of $15-20 million.
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