Legendary Flawless Diamond Sets World Record at Auction

The famed Archduke Joseph Diamond fetched a princely price at Christie’s Geneva on Nov. 12 Geneva: $21.5 million, a world auction record for a colorless diamond.

The price amounts to $280,000 a carat. Christie’s did not release the name of the buyer.

The 76.02 ct. D-IF cushion cut was originally expected to sell for $15 million.

The seller was Black, Starr & Frost, the 200-plus–year-old California jeweler owned by Phoenix retailer Alfred Molina.

The stone’s mystique stems partly from its origins in the Golconda mine in India, the source of such legendary gems as the Koh-i-noor, the Hope, and the Regent. The Archduke Joseph is the largest and most perfect Golconda stone to ever appear at auction. It is named after one of its former owners, the Archduke Joseph August of Austria.

Christie’s had previously auctioned the gem in 1993 for $6.3 million.

The Geneva Magnificent Jewels auction of Magnificent Jewels realized an overall total of $85 million, with 84 percent sold by lot and 86 percent by value. According to a release from Christie’s, this marks the Geneva jewelry department’s most successful year ever.