Duke Joseph Diamond

The diamond is named after Duke Joseph (1872-1962), Prince of Hungary and Bohemia, who owned the diamond. This is a colorless diamond, which also means a high level of cleanliness, from the Golkonda mines in India, the same mines that produced the Hope diamond and the Koh-i-Noor diamond. Duke Joseph diamond has a rectangle cushion cut, a method used on most Indian diamonds from that era, and weighs 78.54 carat.Unfortunately, as many other diamonds, we don’t know the circumstances of how Duke Joseph acquired this diamond, but we can estimate a few options. Tavernier might have purchased it during one of his 6 trips to India to purchase diamonds. Tavernier was a well-known diamond dealer back then and his name is related to many other diamonds. It might have been acquired due to the extensive trading between British colonies in India and the Mongols a few years later or it may have been looted during the many fights between the British and Indian rulers during the 19th century before India received independence. This is a very plausible scenario.
Although we don’t know the exact set of events, we know for certain that Duke Joseph was the first registered owner of the diamond. The first record of owning this diamond was when he deposited it in the Hungarian Bank in 1933. A while later, in 1936, the diamond was sold to an anonymous buyer. It is assumed that it was sold to a European banker that held the diamond in Paris, hidden in a safe, to hide it from the German occupier during WWII.For many years the diamond’s whereabouts were unknown until discovered in an auction in 1961, a sale occurring in London. The diamond was not sold during that auction; in fact, it has been taken out of the auction after it received very low bids. Many years have passed until it was up for sale again, this time in Geneva in 1993. The diamond was sold for 6.5 million dollars to a phone buyer named Alfredo Molina. During the 90’s the owners of the diamond, Molina Fine Jewelers, reduced the diamond’s weight to fix its symmetry and level of cleanliness. The new diamond weighed 76.45 carat and earned a D rank when examined in the American Gemological Institute’s laboratory.It appears that reducing the diamond’s weight paid off; in 2012 the diamond was up for sale again at an auction in Switzerland and was sold to an anonymous buyer for 21 million dollars, higher from the estimated price – 15 million. Apparently, that buyer still owns this diamond.

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