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    The Archduke Joseph Diamond ©Tony Falcone. (Click on image to enlarge).  UPDATE: IT MADE $21,474,525

    ONE of the rarest diamonds in the world, the 76.02 carat Archduke Joseph Diamond, will be offered at Christie’s in Geneva on November 13.  The stone combines size with perfect colour and internally flawless clarity and is expected to make well in excess of US$15 million.  The date it entered the House of Habsburg is unknown but it was officially recorded as the property of the Archduke Joseph August of Austria, Palatine of Hungary (1872-1962), and was subsequently named after him.

    The Archduke probably passed on the diamond to his son, the Archduke Joseph Francis (1895-1957), as records show that he deposited it in the vault of the Hungarian General Credit Bank on June 1, 1933. The diamond was sold three years later to an anonymous buyer who left it in a safe during World War II. It re-appeared in 1961 at auction in London and was last sold at Christie’s in Geneva in 1993 for US$ 6.5 million, the equivalent of $10.5 million today.

    The Archduke Joseph Diamond shares its Golconda origins with the most beautiful and illustrious diamonds in the world, 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. Located in South Central India, the Golconda diamond fields were an ancient source that traces its roots back to 400 B.C.

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