Sep 21st, 2012
This 76.45 carat diamond gets its name from from Archduke Joseph August (1872-1962), a previous owner of the gem and 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 who owned the famous Florentine Diamond, one of the most notable and unique diamonds in history and an heirloom of the Hapsburgs for many years. But whereas the Florentine was unusually large for an Indian diamond and light yellow in color, the Archduke Joseph is a colorless diamond; it possesses the most notable characteristic of the best Golconda diamonds, namely a high internal clarity. Thus its D-color certification. It is cut in a rectangular cushion shape, perhaps a style of cutting that is not entirely unfitting with its Indian origin. It has horizontally divided pavilion main facets.
The diamond has been graded as being Internally Flawless.
Christie’s Geneva will auction the legendary Archduke Joseph Diamond on November 13. This 76.02-carat, D, IF Golconda diamond is the top lot of the fall jewelry auction season for Christie’s. The Archduke Joseph Diamond is expected to achieve ”in the region of $15 million to $25 million,” according to the auction house.
François Curiel, the international head of Christie’s jewelry department, said, ”The magic of auction sometimes brings back great gems to our sales rooms more than once.
”The Archduke Joseph Diamond created a sensation when Christie’s Geneva offered it for sale the first time in November 1993 where it realized $6.5 million – the equivalent of $10.5 million today,” Curiel said.
”This November we have the privilege to give both new and established collectors the opportunity to own a piece of history once again,” he said.
Famous, Notable and Unique