Rare Argyle diamonds attract bidding bonanza as closure nears

Rio Tinto has showcased a collection of 64 rare pink and red diamonds from the Argyle mine in Western Australia in the 35th tender from the soon-to-be-closed mine.

The company reported “intense global demand” for the rare diamonds, with double digit growth in the number of bids during the tender.

The most valuable diamond in the collection, Argyle Enigma, was won by Melbourne-based dealer and Argyle Pink Diamonds partner Blue Star & Kiven Diamonds. It also secured Argyle Verity.

Bids and total values are kept confidential.

“No other diamonds on earth match the rarity and provenance of Argyle pink diamonds,” Blue Star & Kiven Diamonds director Ron Kiven said.

“To have acquired two of the last Argyle pink diamonds to ever be unearthed, and one of the few Fancy Red Argyle diamonds in existence is the ultimate privilege.”

The 2019 Argyle Pink Diamonds tender was highly sought after, with a set of results that underscore the ongoing value appreciation of the gems in the history of rare coloured diamonds, according to Rio Tinto copper and diamonds vice president of sales and marketing Alan Chirgwin.

2019 Hero Stones. Image: Rio Tinto


This year’s tender is the first time to be accompanied by smaller Argyle pink and red diamonds known as the Argyle Pink Everlastings collection.

It comprises 64 lots of carefully curated diamonds, weighing 211 carats. The collection was entirely sold to Hong Kong fancy coloured diamond specialist, Kunming Diamonds.

“This is a rare opportunity to acquire a once in a lifetime collection of pink and red Argyle diamonds,” Kunming director Harsh Maheshwari said.

“With the imminent closure of the Argyle mine, a collection such as this deserves to be showcased to the world.”

The value of Argyle pink diamonds sold at tender has appreciated more than 500 per cent over the past 19 years, outperforming all major equity markets.

Almost the entire world supply of rare pink, red and violet diamonds come from Rio Tinto’s Argyle diamond mine in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia, which will close at the end of next year.

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