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Archduke Joseph diamond sells for record $21.5M at Christie's auction


This picture taken on October 3, 2012 shows a model holding the Archduke Joseph diamond during a Christie's auction preview in Geneva.

It’s roughly the same size as a strawberry and, if you had made the winning bid tonight, would have set you back nearly $21.5 million, Reuters reported.

The internally flawless Archduke Joseph diamond, which weighs 72 carats, was sold for a record 20.355 million Swiss francs to an anonymous bidder at a Christie’s auction in Geneva.

The rare stone, which comes from India’s ancient Golconda mines, once belonged to Archduke Joseph August of Austria (1872-1962), the BBC reported.

"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, was quoted by the BBC as saying.

According to Reuters, it was more than double the price paid for the diamond at auction nearly 20 years ago.

"The market is not on the best form at the moment. The sale tonight was almost flabbergasting."

The Associated Press said the seller was Alfredo J. Molina, chairman of California-based jeweler Black, Starr & Frost.

Molina was “delighted” with the result, the AP said.

“It's a great price for a stone of this quality," Molina was quoted as saying.

"It's one of a kind, so it's like saying 'Are you pleased when you sell the Mona Lisa?' Or 'Are you pleased when you sell the Hope Diamond?' It's all what the market will bear, and the stone sold for a very serious price."

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