Rio Tinto achieved record-breaking figures at its 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, with prices strong amid dwindling supply from the mine.
The Australian miner offered 70 rare pink and red diamonds at the last-ever edition of the tender, which follows Argyle’s closure in November 2020. The “historical” collection, called The Journey Beyond, comprised the final diamonds mined during the Western Australian deposit’s last year of operation, Rio Tinto said Thursday.
“The 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender delivered a record-breaking price performance across individual diamonds and for the overall collection,” the company noted. “The diamonds were fiercely contested around the world in a series of virtual and face-to-face viewings.”
A total of 19 bidders from nine countries successfully acquired lots, with prices maintaining their upward trajectory, Rio Tinto explained. Australian jeweler Calleija bought several stones, including the Argyle Eclipse, a radiant-shaped, 3.47-carat, fancy-intense-pink diamond, and the Argyle Bohème, a radiant-shaped, 1.01-carat, fancy-red diamond.
A veteran bidder in Singapore took home both the Argyle Stella, a square radiant-shaped 1.79-carat, fancy-vivid-purplish-pink diamond, and the Argyle Solaris, a radiant-shaped, fancy-intense pink weighing 2.05 carats. Another, based in the US, won the Argyle Lumiere, a square radiant-shaped, 2.03-carat, fancy-deep-pink diamond.
Alongside the pink-diamond tender, Rio Tinto sold a record-breaking collection of 41 blue and violet diamonds from Argyle to a single buyer. Hong Kong fancy-color specialist Kunming Diamonds purchased the entire 24.88-carat lot in a “history-making global bid” at the separate Once in a Blue Moon tender, the miner said. The stones are the final blues to come from Argyle. Kunming also won nine pink lots.
“I don’t think it’s ever been so competitive, so mind-blowing in terms of how the prices have been, how much competition we faced, and there was a lot of emotional premium everyone added, as this was the ultimate tender,” Harsh Maheshwari, executive director of Kunming, told Rapaport News. “So I guess everyone felt that they would like to at least own a few tender stones while they had the opportunity.”
It’s rare for there to be so many successful bidders at the pink tender, Maheshwari noted. Usually, only half that number would take home diamonds.
“This basically shows how varied the prices must have been, and that these stones went to jewelers from all over the world,” Maheshwari added.