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Million Pound Gemstones: Diamond

In one of my previous posts, I looked at the World’s Most Expensive Diamonds  but while researching that post I came across some amazing Diamonds that have ever been sold at auction but just missed out on being in the most expensive list.. The examples that I chose for this post all sold for more than a million pounds and they all hold a significant place in history as some of the most important Diamonds ever sold.

The Archduke Joseph Diamond

archduke joseph diamond

Weight: 76.02 Carats
Sale: Christie’s, Geneva, 13th November 2012
Sale Price USD: $21.4 Million
Sale Price GBP: £13.5 Million

The Archduke Francis diamond came up for auction in 2012 to much fanfare and the exceptional diamond did not disappoint.

Accompanied by a GIA report that states that the 76 carat diamond possesses the most desireable D colour and has a near perfect Internally Flawless clarity.

Interestingly the report also states that the diamond originated from the Golconda region of India, that also produced the Koh-I-Noor and Hope diamonds.

The diamond is named after Archduke Joseph August of Austria who owned the stone until 1936. The banker who bought stone, stored it in a safety deposit box in France where it remained hidden throughout the German invasion during WW2.

After being hidden for 25 years, it resurfaced at auction in 1961 and again at Christie’s in 1993. It was the diamonds third time visit to auction in 2012 that drew worldwide attention when it broke the world record that had stood since 1995 and it was the first time a white diamond broke the $20 million barrier.

The Aurora Green Diamond – The World’s Most Expensive Green Diamond

The Aurora Green Diamond

Weight: 5.03 Carats
Sale: Christie’s, Hong Kong, 31st May 2016
Sale Price USD: $16.8 Million
Sale Price GBP: £11.5 Million

While the combination of green and pink diamonds may not be to everyone’s taste, there is no denying how truly exceptional the Aurora Green Diamond is.

The 5.03 carat weight means that it is the largest fancy vivid green diamond ever to be sold at auction and the $16.8 Million sale nearly doubled the $8.7 million price set by The Ocean Dream green diamond in 2014.

Due to the incredible rarity of natural fancy green diamonds, it will be interesting to see the green diamond that sells for more than the Aurora Green.

De Beers Millennium Jewel 4

De Beers Millennium Jewel 4

Weight: 10.10 Carats
Sale: Sotheby’s, Hong Kong, 5th April 2016
Sale Price USD: $32 Million
Sale Price GBP: £22.4 Million

This stunning fancy vivid blue diamond was part of De Beers magnificent Millenium Jewels collection that was headlined by the 203.04 carat Millennium Star Diamond.

It was the collection that was nearly stolen at the infamous Millenium Dome raid in the year 2000.

Most of the collection was sold of privately but in April 2016 the oval cut 10.10 diamond sold at the Sotheby’s sale in Hong Kong for just over $32 million, this lead to many within the diamond industry to speculate as to how much the Heart of Eternity would fetch if it was ever auctioned off.

The Pink Promise Diamond

The Pink Promise Diamond

Weight: 14.93 Carats
Sale: Christie’s, Hong Kong, 28th November 2017
Sale Price USD: $31.9 Million
Sale Price GBP: £24.1 Million

The 14.93 Carat weight of the Pink Promise means that it is the smallest diamond in this list but that doesn’t take anything away from how amazing it is.

The final cut of this diamond really brings out the stunning pink colour that is possesses and the setting only makes it more impressive and the sale price of $31.9 million reflects this.

The Graff Yellow Diamond – The World’s Most Expensive Yellow Diamond

The Graff Yellow Diamond

Weight: 100.09 Carats
Sale: Sotheby’s, Geneva, 13th May 2014
Sale Price USD: $16.3 Million
Sale Price GBP: £9.6 Million

In 2014 a stunning 100.09 carat fancy yellow diamond was offered at auction and the resulting $16.3 million sale price, was just under $4 million more than previous world record that was set by the 110 carat Sun Drop Diamond in 2011.

The original rough stone was originally bought by famed diamond dealer Laurence Graff in 2005 or 2006.

Following an intense design and cutting period the resulting cushion cut diamond had a final carat weight that was over the magical number of 100 carats, which meant that it is one of the largest fancy yellow faceted diamonds in the world.

The Winston Legacy Diamond

The Winston Legacy Diamond

Weight: 101.73 Carats
Sale: Christie’s, Geneva, 15th May 2013
Sale Price USD: $26.7 Million
Sale Price GBP: £17.4 Million

When the 101 carat pear cut diamond came up for auction in 2013, many experts in the diamond industry referred to it as the perfect diamond.

The GIA report that accompanied the diamond also backed up this claim as the D colour, Flawless clarity along with excellent polish and symmetry mean that it is as perfect a diamond as you can get.

It was named the Winston Legacy as a credit to Harry Winston’s history, in which he is affectionately known as ‘The King of Diamonds’. It would later be joined by the Pink Legacy Diamond are part of the legacy collection.


I hope you enjoyed the Diamonds I selected for this post. They are some of my personal favourites that have ever been sold and it is always exciting to see what the jewellery departments at Christie’s and Sotheby’s will find for their marquee sales.

Check out our other Million Pound Gemstones posts:

Speaking of Christie’s and Sotheby’s, I would like to thank them for the images and snippets from the gem reports used in this post.

I'm Paul Haywood FGA DGA, a fully qualified Gemmologist and Diamond Grader from the Gemmological Association of Great Britain and a lover of all things jewellery.

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