Recently held, Christie’s spring auction in HongKong will be remembered for six minutes sale of tense bidding for rare Martian Pink Diamond. The diamond, the biggest of its kind ever to be sold fetched $17.4 million, more than double the estimated price. It had been expected to sell for between $8 million and $12 million.
“The bids were very competitive… there was a lot of excitement… when it finally did come up for sale the buzz in the room was sensational,” said Christie’s auctioneer Rahul Kadakia.
The Martian Pink diamond is extremely rare. Its owner believed it would fetch the best price in Hong Kong, having appeared on the market for the first time in 36 years. The diamond was bought by an anonymous telephone bidder.
The 12-carat gem is dubbed “the Martian Pink” because it was sold by US jeweller Harry Winston in 1976, the year the U.S. launched a satellite to Mars. So, the gem got its name from the colour of the planet.
“It comes from Harry Winston, who was so impressed that the Americans had landed on Mars in 1976 that he looked at his inventory and he found a rough diamond which probably could come out as pink,” the BBC quoted Francois Curiel, from Christie’s jewellery department, as saying.
“So he cut it, and he cut it in such a way that the intensity of the thing was larger than any of the other things that he had ever cut before.”
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.