Published: November 20, 2012
Christie’s sold at auction the Archduke Joseph Diamond for nearly $21.5 million on November 13, setting a world auction record price per carat for a colorless diamond. The final price achieved †$21,474,525 †works out to $282,485 per carat. It also set a world auction record for a colorless Golconda diamond.
The historical 76.02-carat, cushion-shaped diamond was the top highlight of the seven-hour-long sale in which a total of 19 lots sold above $1 million, with 147 buyers coming from 28 countries competing enthusiastically in the room, on the telephone and online.
François Curiel, president of Christie’s Switzerland and international director of Christie’s jewelry department, said the $85 million sale had the busiest saleroom witnessed at the Four Seasons hotel des Bergues in Geneva in recent years.
Alfredo J. Molina, the diamond’s former owner and chief executive officer of America’s Black, Starr & Frost jewelers, said, “I am thrilled but not surprised that the Archduke Joseph Diamond should have fetched such a high price. It is considered the finest and largest perfect Golconda diamond ever to appear at auction, with a noble lineage and royal provenance literally ‘Fit for a Queen.’ I was blessed to be the Archduke’s guardian and champion for the past 13 years, and indeed it has become part of my very identity. I am honored to have worked with Rahul Kadakia and Christie’s on this historic sale. I wish the Archduke Joseph Diamond Godspeed&nd I know its new owners will delight in its beauty, charisma and mystery as I have for so many happy years.”
The auction concluded the most successful year for Christie’s jewelry department in Switzerland, with annual sales exceeding $195.2 million.
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