Martian Pink snapped up for a sparkling HK$135m
A frenzied 10-minute bidding war sent the price of the 12.04 carat Martian Pink diamond soaring to a record HK$135 million.
The stunning gem was snapped up by an anonymous buyer at Christie's Hong Kong jewellery sale on Tuesday. The price, way above the auctioneer's estimate of HK$95 million, made it the most expensive round pink diamond ever to go under the hammer.
'The Martian Pink, sold by Harry Winston in 1976, created a sensation during its worldwide exhibition tour and achieved a staggering US$17.4 million after a 10-minute bidding war,' Vickie Sek, director of Christie's Asia jewellery department, said.
The diamond got its name because 1976 was the same year the US sent a satellite to Mars and it was named after the colour of the planet.
Big round pink diamonds are rare. A well-known example was the 23.60-carat Williamson Pink, which was presented to Queen Elizabeth for her wedding in 1947.
A larger pink diamond, but of a rectangular step cut, was auctioned by Sotheby's in 2010.
The 24.78-carat stone fetched 45.44 million Swiss francs (HK$354 million) in Geneva, doubling the previous record to become the most expensive stone ever sold at auction.
At the Hong Kong sale, Christie's sold 236 lots, or 79 per cent of the total of 300 lots, fetching a total of HK$623 million. The result was down from the last spring sale, which achieved HK$695.7 million, with 80 per cent of the lots sold.
The second-highest hammer price, HK$37.6 million, was for a pair of brilliant-cut D Flawless diamonds of 10.88 carats each, beating the lot's low estimate of HK$33 million. They went to an Asian private collector.
A 6.04 carat Burmese ruby ring went for HK$25.9 million, setting a record for a ruby's per carat price.
The price per carat, in US dollars, that the Martian Pink diamond fetched at the auction. The sale price was 40 per cent above Christie's estimate