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Barbie with diamond choker sells for record price

The Barbie created by designer Stefano Canturi
Image caption Out of reach of most girls - a designer Barbie

A Barbie doll wearing a diamond necklace has sold at an auction in New York for a record amount.

The one-off Barbie, created by Stefano Canturi, wears a black strapless evening dress with a choker featuring a one-carat square-cut pink diamond.

It went for $302,500 (£191,500) to an anonymous bidder.

The figure is at the lower end of the estimate that the auction house had given but it is still the most ever paid for a Barbie.

The previous world auction record for a Barbie was $17,091, set in 2006.

Barbie was first created in 1959 and she has undergone many transformations since then.

Canturi, an Australian jewellery designer, said he wanted to pay homage to Barbie's "modern yet timeless style".

The BBC's Laura Trevelyan, who was at the auction, says the doll is also an investment in uncertain economic times - because of the diamonds.

Canturi says: "People are finding things other than the normal channels for investing and what's happening is going back to the basics like going back to beautiful gold, gems, something they can actually hold on to."

The prices of diamonds and coloured jewels have gone up by more than 20% over the past year, according to the auction house, Christie's.

The proceeds of the sale of the bejewelled Barbie will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

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