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Last updated at 12:15 GMT, Tuesday, 01 February 2011

Barbie with diamond choker sells for record price

Summary

22 October 2010

A new record for the highest price ever paid for a Barbie doll has been set at a charity auction in New York. The doll wore a pink diamond necklace and was sold for US$302,500.

Reporter:
Laura Trevelyan

Barbie

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Report

In the packed auction room the bidding was brisk for lot 358, a Barbie doll quite unlike any you have ever seen before. This version of the all-American blonde toy was dressed in a black strapless evening dress, with a pink diamond necklace matching her pink peep-toe stiletto heels.

It was the diamonds which drove Barbie's price up to US$302,500. Who bought her? An anonymous bidder. The price was at the lower end of the estimates that Christie's, the auction house, had put.

The jewellery designer Stefano Canturi, who created this Barbie and her necklace, says investors are taking refuge in rare gems right now because of uncertain economic times. The prices of diamonds and coloured jewels have gone up 20% over the past year, according to the auction house, Christie's.

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

Laura Trevelyan, BBC News, New York

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Vocabulary

packed

crowded or crammed with people

bidding

offering a particular price (at an auction)

brisk

quick or rapid

lot

object being sold in auction

strapless

dress without fabric going over the shoulders

stiletto heels

shoes with high, narrow and pointed heels

anonymous

unidentified or secret

refuge

shelter from danger (or economic instability)

gems

precious stones

uncertain

unsure

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