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Paintings and Rare Diamond Sell at Auction for Millions

FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- You may still be counting pennies while the economy slowly recovers, but some folks are confident enough to spend millions on fine art and diamonds.  

A painting by abstract artist Mark Rothko was sold at auction Tuesday at Sotheby’s in New York City for $75.1 million dollars.

Rothko’s "No. 1 (Royal Red and Blue)" from 1954 was sold to a telephone bidder for $67 million -- $75.1 million with Sotheby’s fees.  Earlier in the evening at the same auction, a Jackson Pollock painting sold for more than $40 million.

Meanwhile, across the pond in Europe, a 76-carat colorless diamond was sold at Christie’s in Geneva Tuesday for more than $21.5 million, including commission.  

The price paid for the Archduke Joseph Diamond was more than triple the price paid for it at auction almost two decades ago.  Christie’s says the sale set a record price per carat for a colorless diamond.

The diamond came from a mine in India and was named after Archduke Joseph August of Austria.  The buyer wished to remain anonymous.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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