Coloured sand claimed to be from the Pink and White Terraces has failed to reach reserve at auction - by 1c.

The Trade Me auction closed yesterday at 12.47pm with a huge bid of $1,001,700 after 13,000 hits.

Seventeen people bid on the vial of sand, one of two listings on the website claiming the sand was from the terraces, which vanished after the Mt Tarawera eruption in 1886.

Both listings popped up within days of New Zealand and American scientists discovering the two bottom tiers of the Pink Terraces in Lake Rotomahana.