Archduke Joseph Diamond Sets New World Record

A colourless diamond originally from India has sold for a world record price of £13.5m at a Swiss auction.

The Archduke Joseph Diamond was the first of two exceptional diamonds being auctioned off this week in Geneva.

It was expected to sell for £9.45m, but eventually sold for more than triple the price paid when it was auctioned almost two decades ago.

The 76-carat internally flawless diamond came from the ancient Golconda mines in India.

Alfredo J Molina, chairman of California-based jeweller Black, Starr & Frost, said the winning bidder - who wished to remain anonymous - will donate the diamond for display at a museum.

He said: "It's a great price for a stone of this quality. It's a one of a kind, so it's like saying 'are you pleased when you sell the Mona Lisa?'"

Named after Archduke Joseph August of Austria - the great-grandson of both a Holy Roman emperor and a French king - the diamond passed to his son, Archduke Joseph Francis, then to an anonymous buyer who kept it safe during World War Two.

It was auctioned in London in 1961, and then again in Geneva in 1993 when it sold for £4m.

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