'Martian Pink' diamond fetches $17m in Hong Kong

CHINA - The "Martian Pink" diamond fetched $17.4 million at auction in Hong Kong this week as it went on sale for the first time in 36 years, more than double the estimated price.


The "Martian Pink" diamond / Photo: Christie's Images Ltd. 2011

Billed as the largest pink diamond ever to come up for auction, the stunning gem was the highlight of a Christies' jewellery auction that raised $80 million on Tuesday, the auction house said.

"Having appeared on the market for the first time in 36 years, The Martian Pink sold by Harry Winston in 1976 created a sensation during its worldwide exhibition tour and achieved a staggering US$17.4m after a 10-minute bidding war," said Vickie Sek of Christie's Asia.

"The US$80m auction was highlighted with top prices across the board, culminating in a world record price of US$551,000 per carat for a perfect Burmese ruby of 6.04 carats."

Hong Kong has emerged as the world's third biggest auction centre after New York and London, thanks largely to the growing luxury market in mainland China.

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