Diamond earrings
The pearl-shaped earrings were being auctioned separately by Sotheby's, however; they were sold to a single, anonymous buyer. File PhotoREUTERS/Denis Balibouse

A pair of coloured diamond earrings set a new world record, selling at a price of $57.4m (£44.40m) at an auction in Geneva on Tuesday, 16 May.

The Apollo stone is a 14.54-carat blue diamond, while the nearly identical Artemis stone is a 16-carat pink diamond. An anonymous buyer purchased the pearl-shaped earrings, which were being auctioned separately by Sotheby's.

With their colour, even their prices varied – Apollo sold for $42.1m while Artemis went for $15.3m. The earrings were named after ancient Greek gods.

The buyer, whose identity is not yet revealed, renamed the 14.54-carat blue diamond "The Memory of Autumn Leaves" and the 16-carat pink diamond "The Dream of Autumn Leaves."

The pure vivid blue of Apollo - from the mines in South Africa is said to be rarer than the pink Artemis, and therefore was priced more than the pink gem.

The auction house had estimated the selling price of the pink diamond between $12.5m and $18m, and the blue stone between $38m and $50m. Both the earrings were sold below their estimated prices of $70m.

According to reports by CNBC, demand for coloured diamonds remains strong. This spring, the auction house had broken the world record for the most expensive diamond ever sold at an auction at $71.2m sale of the "Pink Star" diamond. Sotheby's sold the 59.6-carat ''Pink Star'' for $71 million last month.

Christie's had sold 14.62-carat ''Oppenheimer Blue'' diamond for $58m last year. The auction house had also held the record for selling the most expensive diamond earrings, which were the Miroir de l'Amour that were sold for $17.6m in November, 2016.