The Apollo and Artemis Diamonds are described as “truly exceptional stones” which are in a “class of their own” when considered as a pair.
Apollo is a 14.54 carat vivid blue diamond which has been cut and polished into a pear shape.
Artemis is a 16 carat fancy intense pink diamond.
Both gems are phenomenally rare, with less than 0.1 per cent of diamonds having any blue in them.
An “infinitesimally” small percentage of those is graded Fancy Vivid Blue like Apollo.
They were sold as separate lots at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva on Tuesday evening.
Apollo sold for £33 million and Artemis fetched £12 million – with both earrings snapped up by the same anonymous bidder.
The £45 million final figure ($ 57) is a record for a pair of earrings.
David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, said: “It has been a privilege for Sotheby’s to be entrusted with the superb ‘Apollo Blue’ and ‘Artemis Pink’, which have now been renamed ‘The Memory of Autumn Leaves’ and ‘The Dream of Autumn Leaves’.
“I am delighted that the stones will remain together as earrings.”
Despite the staggering figure paid, the final figure was short on what was expected – with the diamonds carrying an estimate of up to £55 million.
Prior to the sale, Mr Bennett described the diamonds as “the most important pair of earrings ever offered at auction”.
He added: “These exquisite coloured diamonds are enormously rare and each is a wonderful stone in its own right. Together, as a pair of earrings, they are breathtaking.”
It was a successful overall sale for Sotheby’s, with 90 per cent of the lots selling for a combined £118 million. Two-thirds of the gems sold for above their high estimate.