Archduke Joseph 76.02 carat diamond at Christie’s
The four-hundred-year-old Archduke Joseph Diamond, which is flawless, colorless, and a whopping 76 carats goes under the hammer at Christie’s, in Geneva, on November 13, 2012. It is set to fetch more than $15million. Describing the star lot Christie’s head of jewellery, Rahul Kadakia, told ‘It’s about the size of a quail’s egg, and completely pure and clear in color.’ Although it has an estimate of $15million, experts believe the diamond will fetch a lot more, attracting buyers from the Middle East, Asia and Russia. The gem is named after its original owner Archduke Joseph August, who was the highest ranking official in the Kingdom of Hungary during the 19th century.
It is believed that Archduke Joseph August passed the diamond on to his son Archduke Joseph Francis in 1933 when records show him depositing it into the vault of a Hungarian bank. An anonymous buyer purchased the stone three years later and left it in a safe during World War II, where it fortunately escaped the attention of the Nazis. Since then the diamond has changed hands privately, but the company declined to comment on the identity of the current owner.