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Archduke Joseph diamond fetches $26m at auction

Published on Nov 14, 2012 6:18 AM
A model holds the "Archduke Joseph" historial diamond on Oct 3, 2012 during a Christie's auction preview in Geneva. -- PHOTO : AFP

GENEVA (REUTERS) - A huge, internally flawless diamond from India’s fabled Golconda mines was sold at auction in Geneva on Tuesday night for a record 20.355 million Swiss francs (S$26.27 million), Christie’s said.

The rare, colourless stone weighing 76.02 carats, and roughly the size of a large strawberry, once belonged to Archduke Joseph August of Austria (1872-1962), a prince of the Hungarian line of the Habsburgs.

Its pre-sale estimate was 15-to-25 million Swiss francs and it fetched more than double the price paid for it at auction almost two decades ago.

“It is a world record for a Golconda diamond and a world record price per carat for a colourless diamond,” Francois Curiel, director of the international jewellery department at Christie’s, told reporters.

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