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The 12.04 Martian Pinl, which sold at Christie's for $17.4 million. (Photo Credit: Christie's)

The second highlight of the sale: a 6.04-carat Burmese ruby that sold for a record $551,000 per carat. (Photo Credit: Christie's)

  'Martian Pink' sells at Christie's in Hong Kong for more than twice its pre-sale estimate

June 11, 2012

The "Martian Pink," a 12.04-carat fancy-colored diamond that was first bought in 1976 by Harry Winston and named that in honor of that year's Viking space expedition to the red planet, fetched a stunning $17.4 million at auction at Christie's in Hong Kong at the end of May, more than double the estimated price.

The sale of a diamond to an anonymous telephone bidder justified the decision to sell the diamond at an Asian auction.

The American owner of the stone had insisted that had it be sold in Hong Kong, said Francois Curiel, the head of Christie's jewelry department, speaking to the BBC. "He had studied the market pretty well and seen that all the top prices recently were obtained in Hong Kong because of the presence of the Chinese, and several other countries from Southeast Asia were very, very keen on diamonds," Curiel stated.

The Hong Kong action, which resulted in sales worth $80 million, had another notable highlight. A ring featuring Burmese ruby of 6.04 carats fetched a world record price of$551,000 per carat.

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