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In brief: Diamond fetches almost $21.5 million

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 14, 2012

GENEVA – Christie’s auctioned off the Archduke Joseph Diamond for nearly $21.5 million Tuesday night, a world auction record price per carat for a colorless diamond.

The Archduke Joseph Diamond was the first of two out-of-this-world diamonds being auctioned off this week in Geneva. Sotheby’s will auction today what it calls an exceptionally rare fancy deep blue briolette diamond of 10.48 carats expected to get up to $4.5 million.

The Archduke Joseph Diamond went for $21,474,525 including commission. That was well above the expected $15 million and more than triple the price paid for it at auction almost two decades ago. The 76.02-carat diamond, with perfect color and internally flawless clarity, came from the ancient Golconda mines in India.

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

Officer accused of lying in CIA attack

MEXICO CITY – The Mexican federal prosecutor’s office said Tuesday that a high-ranking federal police officer had been arrested in the case of two CIA operatives who were attacked south of Mexico City in August. He is the 15th member of the federal police to be detained in the incident.

Federal Police Inspector General Juan Manuel Pacheco Salgado was arrested Monday on suspicion of giving false information during the investigation of the attack, in which Mexican police officers fired more than 100 bullets into the CIA operatives’ SUV, according to a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office.

The CIA operatives were driving through dangerous territory in the armored SUV, which had diplomatic plates, and were accompanied by an officer from the Mexican navy when they were assaulted by a group of plainclothes officers.

World War II bomb safely defused

TOKYO – A military squad safely removed 550-pound World War II bomb found two weeks ago near the runway of a major airport in northern Japan.

The team defused the rusty bomb today and then transported it away from Sendai Airport. Sendai Airport was heavily damaged by last year’s tsunami, and the bomb was uncovered in construction related to its restoration.


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