Thirty years after it introduced its annual tender of fancy colored stones from its Argyle Mine in Western Australia, Rio Tinto has reported that it had achieved the highest average price per carat since the program began in 1984. The company celebrated its 30th anniversary by auctioning a collection of 54 rare pink and red.
According to the company, the Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender attracted a record 600 bids from around the world, with successful bids submitted from 10 countries. Bids and values from the tender are kept confidential, but Rio Tinto reported that average prices for its signature pink diamonds have tripled since 2000 “We are delighted with this result which reflects the global appeal and enduring value for these increasingly rare and iconic gems,” said Jean-Marc Lieberherr, Rio Tinto Diamonds managing
The most valuable diamond sold was the Argyle Cardinal, a 1.21-carat radiant-cut fancy red, which was one of only 13 fancy reds diamonds ever offered as part of the Argyle tender, and only one of three red diamonds of more than one carat. It was sold to Australia’s Glenn Bakkar Jewels for an undisclosed sum.
Other diamonds headlining the 2014 collection included the Argyle Rosette, a 2.17-carat fancy intense purple-pink emerald cut diamond, and the Argyle Toki, a 1.59-carat fancy intense purplish pink emerald cut diamond.
The Argyle Diamond Mine produces more than 90 percent of the world’s pink diamonds.