A rare pink diamond, derived from the biggest raw stone of the colour ever found in Russia, has been sold for $26.6m (€22.5m) at Sotheby's in Geneva, Switzerland.
Dubbed 'The Spirit of the Rose', the 14.83-carat stone's final sale price including commission set a world record for a purple-pink diamond.
It took just a few minutes for the bids to reach 21 million Swiss francs after the marble-sized stone came up in an online auction, with the final buyer remaining anonymous.
Sotheby's auctioneer Benoit Repellin called the diamond a "wonder of nature" and added that prices for the pink gems are going up as they become increasingly rare.
The 'Spirit of the Rose' was faceted from a 27.85-carat stone found in 2017 by diamond mining firm Alrosa in Russia's Sakha republic in northeast Siberia.
Pink diamonds were first discovered in India during the early 17th century, in the Kollur mine within the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, which was part of the legendary Golconda kingdom. Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, a French merchant and adventurer, first made a reference to pink diamonds around this time.
In his travel book, Tavernier mentioned a very large pink rough diamond weighing over 200 carats, shown to him by Moghuls in the Kingdom of Golconda in 1642. This diamond, named 'The Grand Table' was valued at 600,000 rupees at the time, and is still considered to have been the largest pink diamond recorded to date.
Since their discovery in the early 17th century, pink diamonds have also been mined in Brazil, South Africa, Tanzania, Canada, Australia and, of course, Russia. It is thought that around 80% of the world's pink diamonds now originate from the Argyle mine in Kimberley, Western Australia. Out of the mine's 20 million carat annual output, only 0.1% are classified as pink diamonds, attesting to their rarity.
Russia is also an intermittent source of pink diamonds, and currently the world's largest diamond producer by volume, responsible for around 30% of the world's diamond output each year. In 2015 alone, 41.9 million carats of diamonds were mined in Russia.