The average person would probably choke a bit at the prospect of spending thousands on a single jewel. Imagine picking up the tab for the sale of the famous Archduke Joseph diamond. This exciting gem recently went to market and sold for a mind boggling $21.5 million.
A Diamond with a Rich History
It’s very rare to come across a glittering beauty quite like the Archduke’s diamond. It weighs in at 76.02 carats and is completely colorless. The name comes from the stone’s previous owner, Archduke Joseph August of Austria who was a Hungarian prince. The nobleman kept the prize piece in a Hungarian General Credit Bank vault starting in 1933 where it remained for three years.
The diamond later made its way to the hands of a European banker who chose to store it in a safe deposit box in France. Perhaps it is a stroke of good luck that the precious stone stayed hidden during the turmoil of World War II. It reappeared in 1961 and was sold in 1993 for 9.7 million francs which would have been equivalent to approximately $6.5 million U.S. dollars. Not only is this gorgeous diamond breathtaking to look at, but it comes with a bit of history to go with it.
Selling the Archduke’s Diamond
Prior estimates placed the sale at around $15 million, however, the diamond sold for well over that price with the exact cost coming to $21,474,525.00 plus commission. If you’re wondering who paid out for the jewel, you may be out of luck. The seller was Alfredo J. Molina who is chairman of Black, Starr and Frost, a jeweler located in California. Molina stated that there were two serious buyers who were bidding, however, the winning bidder requested to remain anonymous. He did share the name of the losing bidder, which was international dealer Fred Mouawad.
We may never know who made the actual purchase, but thankfully the Archduke Joseph diamond will be given a proper storage space. The buyer claimed that they plan to share the stone with a museum where it will be kept safe and sound for the benefit of all. Rahul Kadakia of Christie’s stated that the “Archduke Joseph Diamond is the finest and largest perfect Golconda diamond ever to appear at auction.”