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Rio Tinto Kicks Off Penultimate Pink Tender

Sep 3, 2020 6:25 AM   By Leah Meirovich
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Rio Tinto will offer a record-breaking diamond at its penultimate pink-diamond tender as it prepares to close the Argyle mine.

The 2.24-carat, fancy-vivid-purplish-pink diamond, known as Argyle Eternity, will headline the Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, which has run since 1984. It is the largest round brilliant diamond of fancy-vivid color the company has ever put up for sale. The tender comprises rare polished colored diamonds originating from the mine in Australia, and will include 62 stones weighing a combined 57.23 carats, Rio Tinto said Thursday.

The deposit, which has operated since 1983, is due to close at the end of the year. It’s the world’s largest diamond mine by volume, producing 12.9 million carats in 2019. Most of its output is lower-quality white and brown diamonds, but it is more famous for its pink, red and purple goods. More than 90% of the world’s rare pink diamonds are from the mine, according to Rio Tinto.

“Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine is the first and only ongoing source of rare pink, red and violet diamonds in the world,” said Arnaud Soirat, Rio Tinto’s chief executive for copper and diamonds. “We have seen, and continue to see, strong demand for these highly coveted diamonds, which, together with extremely limited global supply, supports the significant value appreciation for Argyle pink diamonds.”

The company believes the sale will see high bidding, despite the economic challenges caused by the pandemic.

“They are pretty sought after,” a Rio Tinto spokesperson told Rapaport News. “There’s some excitement building around it. Polished pinks are still selling really well, and we’re expecting that to continue in September, because they are in a league of their own.”

The company has named the 2020 collection “One Lifetime, One Encounter.” Due to the coronavirus and restrictions on travel, the miner will preview the diamonds online to customers. It will then hold viewings at the Argyle mine, and in Perth, Australia, Singapore and Antwerp later in the year, with bids closing on December 2.

Rio Tinto’s six top lots, called “hero diamonds,” are as follows:

Lot 1: The Argyle Eternity, a round brilliant, 2.24-carat, fancy-vivid-purplish-pink diamond.
Lot 2: The Argyle Ethereal, a square radiant-shaped, 2.45-carat, fancy-intense-purple-pink diamond.
Lot 3: The Argyle Sakura, a pear-shaped, 1.84-carat, fancy-vivid-purplish-pink diamond.
Lot 4: The Argyle Emrys, a princess-shaped, 0.43-carat, fancy-deep-greyish-violetish-blue diamond.
Lot 5: The Argyle Skylar, a heart-shaped, 0.33-carat, fancy-dark-grey-violet diamond.
Lot 6: The Argyle Infinité, an oval-shaped, 0.70-carat, dark-violet-grey diamond.

The company will also offer 12 lots of miniature rare pink, red, blue and violet diamonds, weighing a total of 13.90 carats, called The Petite Suites. Those stones have been collected over a period of five years, and are balanced in size, shape, color and clarity, the miner added.

Rio Tinto will hold a final pink-diamond tender in 2021 following the closure of the mine.

Image: The diamonds featured in the Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender. (Rio Tinto)
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Tags: Argyle Emrys, Argyle Eternity, Argyle Ethereal, Argyle Infinité, Argyle mine, Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, Argyle Sakura, Argyle Skylar, Arnaud Soirat, Leah Meirovich, One Encounter, One Lifetime, Petite Suites, Rapaport News, Rio Tinto
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