The internally flawless Archduke Joseph diamond, was sold for CHF20.355 million ($21.5 million) and thus broke the records at Christie’s auction in Geneva on Tuesday night. Historic 76.02-carat stone, achieved a world auction record price per carat for a colorless diamond and a world record for a Golconda diamond.
The rare, colourless stone, roughly the size of large strawberry, which comes from India’s ancient Golconda mines, once belonged to Archduke Joseph August of Austria (1872-1962), fetched more than double the price paid for it at auction almost two decades ago.
Francois Curiel, director of the international jewelry department at Christie’s commented: “The market is not on the best form at the moment. The sale tonight was almost flabbergasting.”
The precious stone was sold by California-based jeweller Black, Starr & Frost. The buyer wished to remain anonymous, but he will probably donate the diamond for display at a museum.
“It’s a great price for a stone of this quality. It’s one of a kind, so it’s like saying ‘Are you pleased when you sell the Mona Lisa?’ Or ‘Are you pleased when you sell the Hope Diamond?’ It’s all what the market will bear, and the stone sold for a very serious price,” Alfredo J. Molina, chairman of Black, Starr & Frost said.