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Pink diamond sells for nearly $40 million at US auction

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

A 34.64-carat pink diamond has sold at auction in New York for nearly $40 million, setting a new record for Christie's auction house.

Dubbed the "Princie Diamond," the gem is "one of the largest and finest pink diamonds in the world," with a "fabulous provenance," Christie's jewelry chief Francois Curiel said ahead of the sale.

An anonymous telephone bidder paid $39,323,750, or more than $1 million per carat, for the stone from ancient diamond mines in southern India, the auction house said in a statement Tuesday.

The pink gem was once owned by the royal family of Hyderabad and, since 1960, by the London branch of Van Cleef & Arpels.

The exclusive jewelry firm originally paid 46,000 pounds for it, equivalent to $1.3 million today, Christie's said, indicating a hefty profit after Tuesday's sale.

All told, bidders paid more than $80 million for the jewels at the New York auction, including just under $4.5 million for a 30.32 carat rectangular cut D color diamond and $3.3 million for a Harry Winston diamond ring.

Previously, the most paid at Christie's for a diamond was $24.3 million, for the 31-carat Wittelsbach diamond in 2008.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130417/pink-diamond-sells-nearly-40-million-at-us-auction