DNA discoverer's letter sells for more than $5M

Associated Press
Sandra Palomino, director of historical manuscripts at Heritage Auctions, shows a lab coat worn by Dr. Francis Harry Compton Crick, the1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine winner, Wednesday, April 10, 2013 in New York.  On Thursday, his coat and other items including his Nobel Prize medal and accompanying diploma, left, will be sold by Heritage Auctions, which estimates it could fetch at least $500,000.  (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

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NEW YORK (AP) — A letter that scientist Francis Crick wrote to his son about his Nobel Prize winning DNA discovery has been sold at a New York City auction for a record-breaking $5.3 million.

Christie's auction house says the purchase was made by an anonymous buyer Wednesday. The price is more than $6 million when the commission is included.

Christie's says that's a record for a letter at auction. The previous record belonged to an Abraham Lincoln letter that sold in April 2008 for $3.4 million including commission.

In the letter to his 12-year-old son, Crick describes his discovery of DNA's structure as something "beautiful."

A different sale, on Thursday, will feature the 1962 medal that Crick won.

Heirs of the molecular biologist are selling his possessions, in part, to benefit scientific research.

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