Scarcity breeds desire. Diamond buyers, collectors and admirers of the world’s rarest gems are flocking to Sydney for a first hand look at Rio Tinto’s Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender. There are 55 diamonds with the highlight of the sale being four extremely rare Fancy Red diamonds.
Rio Tinto owns the Argyle mine that produces colored diamonds in Argyle, Western Australia.
The Argyle diamond mine. Photo courtesy of Panramio.
The largest of the red diamonds is the 1.21 carat radiant cut Fancy Red diamond called the Argyle Cardinal. The diamond is of course, named after the small red, North American bird. The Argyle Cardinal has rare siblings, the Argyle Rosette, a 2.17 carat Fancy Intense Pink emerald cut diamond and the Argyle Toki, a 1.59 carat Fancy Intense Purplish Pink emerald cut diamond.
The Argyle Cardinal, 1.21 radiant cut red diamond. Photo courtesy of Rio Tinto.
The Argyle Rosette, a 2.17 emerald cut pink diamond, named after the Roseate Turn, a European bird that is becoming increasingly rare. Photo courtesy of Rio Tinto.
The Argyle Toki, a 1.59 carat emerald cut purplish pink diamond, named after a rare Japanese bird with delicate pink underwings. Photo courtesy of Rio Tinto.
The Argyle diamond mine is the world’s primary source of rare pink diamonds which attract on average 20 times the price of an equivalent white diamond. Since 1979, they have produced annually about 90% of the pink diamonds in the world. Rio Tinto operates a stand-alone pink diamond business to sell and market loose polished pink diamonds from the Argyle mine. The mine additionally provides a large proportion of other naturally colored diamonds, including champagne, cognac and rare blue diamonds. Argyle is currently transitioning from an open pit mine to an underground mine.
Do you remember the advertising campaign for “champagne diamonds,” the goldish brown diamonds from the 1980’s and 1990’s? Well, this is where they came from. They introduced colored diamonds to the world.
Japan is the largest consumer of pink diamonds, with the lighter “Cherry Blossom” shades in strong demand. According to Rio Tinto, there has also been an explosion of interest in China and India as well. Red is a highly symbolic color in Asia.
To celebrate its 30th Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, Rio Tinto has also created the Argyle Plume™, a limited-edition pendant, set with pink diamonds, that was unveiled at an exclusive event held in Sydney this week in collaboration with Vogue magazine.
Rio Tinto Diamonds’ managing director, Jean-Marc Lieberherr said, “Decades ago, no one would have believed that Australia held the secret of diamonds, let alone virtually the world’s entire source of pink and red diamonds”.
Tender viewings will be held in Sydney, Hong Kong and Perth, with bids closing on the 8 October 2014.