Der Erzherzog Joseph Diamant der Habsburger
können detailliert bis zum Tage ihres Fundes in indischen Minen
zurückverfolgt werden, während andere eine eher mysteriöser
Vergangenheit haben oder sogar verschwunden sind.
The Archduke Joseph Diamond
Archduchess Augusta, wife of Archduke Joseph August, daughter of Prince Leopold of Bavaria and Archduchess Gisela (daughter of Empress Sisi)
Historical diamonds are seldom offered at auction, the knowledge that this magnificent 78,54 carat gem once belonged to an Archduke of the great dynastic House of Habsburg adds an extra edge of excitement to this diamond.
Graded as D colour, with SI 1, potentially flawless clarity by the GIA, the Archduke Joseph Diamond has that limpid transparency and soft luminescent quality that is discribed as "Golconda" by experienced diamond dealers. This almost undifinable water-clear appearance ist characteristic of stones from the legendary diamond district of Golconda in India, in what would now be the state of Hyderabad. Described in detail by the sevententh-century gem merchant, Jean Baptist Tavernier, in his book "Travels in India", the mines of this area are believed to have been the source of many of the world`s famous diamonds such as the Koh-i-Noor and the Regent. Unfortunately, these mines were depleted in the mid-eighteenth century. No other sources have been found since that produce diamonds exhibiting this limpid transparency.
The beautiful, elongated cushion-shaped stone derives its name from its first known owner, Joseph August Victor Clemence Maria, Archduke of Austria and Palatinate of Hungary, great-grandson of Emperor Leopold II of the House of Habsburg, one of the primery ruling dynasties of Europe. (The Titel of Archduke was given to all Habsburg sons except the principal heir who became the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire). The House of Habsburg ruled over the elective monarchies of Austria, Bohemia and Hungary from the fifteenth to the twentieth century.
Archduke Joseph August 1872-1962 distinguished himself as a field marshal during World War I and was named first Regent of Hungary, a position that he held until he was forced to resign under pressure from the Allies. At this time, Archduke Joseph August retired from active politics, though he still became a member of the Upper House of Parliament and involved himself in the cultural aspects of Hungarian society. He became an honorary member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and acted as its president from 1936-1944. With the occupation of Hungary by the Soviet troops at the end of World ar II, Archduke Joseph August emigrated to the United States and lived out his days in exile.
It is believed that Joseph August gave the diamond to his son, Joseph Francis (1895-1957) at some point. Records show that in 1933 the gem was deposited in the vault of the Hungarian General Credit Bank. Evidence also shows that the stone was sold in 1936 to an undiscolosed buyer. During World War II, the diamond escaped the notice of the Nazis and has been kept discreetly from 1936 to the present.
lack of ceoncrete information about the Archduke Diamond ist tantalizing.
That we only know a few details imparts an extra aura of mystery to
this superlative gem. Perhaps it is just as well not to know more. For,
even as the threads that we do have provide us with a tanible line to
historic figures and events, we can nevertheless embellish the story
in fantasy,imagining exotic evenings among the royal heads of Europe
at which this diamond may have been worn and admired.
Das Hochzeitsalbum Habsburg
I | Wedding of Francesca and Karl of Habsburg I