RAPAPORT… Rio Tinto will unveil a record number of diamonds over one carat at its final pink-diamond tender, including the largest fancy-intense pink it has ever offered for sale.
The 3.47-carat stone, known as the Argyle Eclipse, will headline the Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, which has run since 1984. The tender comprises 70 rare polished colored diamonds originating from the Australian mine, Rio Tinto said Tuesday. The collection weighs a combined 81.63 carats.
The deposit, which has operated since 1983, closed on November 3, 2020. It was the world’s largest diamond mine by volume, producing primarily lower-quality white and brown diamonds. However, it is more famous for its pink, red and purple goods, with more than 90% of the world’s supply of rare pink diamonds originating from Argyle, according to Rio Tinto.
The company believes the sale will see high bidding, being the last chance to purchase the highly desired diamonds.
“The Argyle pink-diamond story has continued to enthrall throughout the years following the remarkable discovery of the Argyle mine in 1979,” said Patrick Coppens, general manager of sales and marketing for Rio Tinto’s diamond business. “The final tender collection of these beyond-rare diamonds will be keenly sought-after as heritage gemstones of the future, coveted by collectors and connoisseurs from around the world.”
Rio Tinto has named the 2021 collection The Journey Beyond. This references the 1.5 billion years that passed between the stones’ creation and their discovery, as well as their impact on the history of diamonds and jewelry, it said.
Rio Tinto’s top five lots, called “hero diamonds,” are as follows:
Lot 1: The Argyle Eclipse, a radiant-shaped, 3.47-carat, fancy-intense-pink diamond.
Lot 2: The Argyle Stella, a square radiant-shaped, 1.79-carat, fancy-vivid-purplish-pink diamond.
Lot 3: The Argyle Lumiere, a square radiant-shaped, 2.03-carat, fancy-deep-pink diamond.
Lot 4: The Argyle Solaris, a radiant-shaped, 2.05-carat, fancy-intense-pink diamond.
Lot 5: The Argyle Bohème, a radiant-shaped, 1.01-carat, fancy-red diamond.
The company will also offer a separate sale called Once in a Blue Moon alongside the pink-diamond tender, it said. It includes 41 blue and violet diamonds weighing a total of 24.88 carats — the last of their color to emerge from Argyle.
Rio Tinto will hold viewings of the diamonds from both sales later this year in Perth, Australia; Antwerp; Singapore; and Sydney. Bids will close on September 1.
Image: The five “hero diamonds,” including the Argyle Eclipse (center). (Rio Tinto)