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'Martian Pink' diamond auctioned for $17.4 million in Hong Kong

The 'Martian Pink' diamond, the biggest of its kind ever to be sold, was snapped up by an anonymous telephone bidder after just six minutes of auctioning.
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A collection of rare diamond rings is displayed at Sotheby's on October 22, 2009 in London, England. (Peter Macdiarmid/AFP/Getty Images)

The "Martian Pink" diamond, an extremely rare rose-colored stone, sold for $17.4 million at a Hong Kong auction on Tuesday, BBC News reported.

The gem is the largest of its kind to ever be sold, and fetched far more than the $8 million to $12 million range that was originally expected, according to BBC News. 

"As a round stone, it is one of the most expensive round pink diamonds that's ever been sold at auction anywhere in the world, so yes it did break a record in that sense," Rahul Kadakia, Christie's head of jewelery in the US, and Switzerland, told the Daily Mail

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Most natural pink diamonds have a tinge of purple, grey or orange to them, but the Martian Pink stone has no secondary color, part of what makes it so valuable, the Daily Mail reported. 

The rare diamond was owned by a private collector, and was bought by an anonymous telephone bidder after just six minutes of auction at Christie's Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels sale, according to BBC.

"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," Kadakia told the BBC. 

The stone was initially purchased from Harry Winston in 1976, the same year that the United States launched its first satellite on a mission to Mars. Ronald Winston named the diamond in honor of the historic milestone, Forbes reported

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The "Martian Pink" is one of just two pink diamonds in the world said to be of "significant size," according to the Daily Mail. The other, "The Williamson Pink," belongs to Queen Elizabeth II, and was gifted to the British queen for her wedding in 1947, BBC News reported. 

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