One of the rarest and most famous diamonds in the world, with its origin traced to the ancient Golconda mines in Andhra Pradesh, will go under the hammer next month and is expected to fetch over USD 15 million.
The legendary Archduke Joseph Diamond, combining an impressive size of 76.02 carats, perfect colour, and internally flawless clarity, will be offered at Christie's auction in Geneva on November 13.
The auction house said the spectacular diamond presents an unprecedented opportunity for both new and established collectors to own an incomparable jewel of historical and gemological significance.
"The Archduke Joseph Diamond created a sensation when Christie's Geneva offered it for sale the first time in November 1993 where it realised USD 6.5 million - the equivalent of USD 10.5 million today. This November we have the privilege to give both new and established collectors the opportunity to own a piece of history once again," said Francois Curiel, international head of Christie's Jewellery Department.
"The Archduke Joseph Diamond is the finest and largest perfect Golconda diamond ever to appear at auction. It is comparable in its noble lineage and superb quality to the legendary Kohinoor diamond that forms part of the crown jewels of Great Britain," said Rahul Kadakia, head of jewellery, Christie's Americas and Switzerland.
The Golconda diamond fields were an ancient source that traces its roots back to 400 BC. Up until about 1725, when diamonds were discovered in Brazil, Golconda and a small mine in Borneo were the world's only sources of these precious gems. Universally esteemed as the world's finest diamonds, Golconda diamonds have a special whiteness often described as soft, watery, and pure, so that light appears to pass through the stone completely unimpeded.