Saturday, 10 January 2015

Famed Archduke Joseph diamond of Indian origin

Archduke Joseph. jewelryactivist.com
Archduke Joseph diamond.www.ft.com

Diamonds are as much a source of inspiration as of irritation for the  filthy rich  and on several occasions they  become fodder for the news hungry media and the sensationalism that is generated in its wake is quite amazing. When such exotic and expensive diamonds come up for auction at well known auction houses, they draw world wide attention. The question that many people ask is: "Who is going to be the successful bidder at the auction and for whom he is going to buy it? For the rich and Hollywood stars, it is not only a publicity bonanza but also a safe  investment because the value of diamonds will never come come down.
One such sensational auction took place on November 13, 2012 at Christie's auction house in Geneva.  The Archduke Joseph diamond (76.02 carat) was sold for more than 20m Swiss frank ($21,474,525 including commission) at Christie's auction house by Alfredo J. Molina, chairman of California-based jeweler Black, Starr & Frost, to an anonymous bidder.

"It is a world record for a Golconda diamond and a world record price per carat for a colorless diamond," Francois Curiel, director of the international jewelry department at Christie's, told reporters.

This rare  76 carat diamond mined from erstwhile Golconda kingdom, named after its first known owner Archduke Joseph August of Austria,  shares the same linkage and source of origin as the other two world famous diamonds -  Koh-i-noor and Hope. All these three  world  famous diamonds  have their own exciting legend and history  and were mined from  Kollur mines near
Golconda  on the banks of Krishna river in the present day Krishna and Guntur districts  of  Andhra Pradesh, South India  that once were  part of the Golconda Kingdom.  Other  well-known diamonds  from the Golconda mines are Darya-e Nur ( the largest at 185 carats and the finest among the crown jewels of Iran), Nur-Ul- Ain, the Regent and the Wittelsbach.  Unfortunately none of these famed diamonds remained in India  and they were either gifted or bought or stolen. Like  other diamonds, these dazzling gems that were formed in the deeper part of the Earth, keep  changing hands for several reasons and never fail to carry their legacy.
Golconda fort. www.gopixpic.com
 It is strongly believed that Archduke Joseph diamond reached Austria through Archduke Franz Ferdinand  who  once had visited Hyderabad in 1893 and was a guest of the sixth Nizam, Mahbub Ali Khan, ruler and one of the richest men in the world at that time. According to The Christie’s,  his son  Archduke Joseph Francis (1895-1957) was  successor to Archduke diamond   and he deposited the diamond in the vault of Hungarian General Credit Bank in 1933. In November,1961 it reappeared but was not sold. In 1993 it fetched  $6.48 million at Christie’s Geneva auction house. This diamond, which is world's most beautiful gem of not only incomparable quality but also of historical and gemological significance is  cushion shaped, colorless, internally flawless and of superb quality according to  Christie’s.
Ref:

"Perfect' Archduke Joseph diamond sells for $21m". BBC. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archduke_Joseph_%28diamond%29