Rio Tinto Launches Business for Argyle Pinks

Diamonds from Rio Tinto’s Argyle Pink Diamond Tender. 

Rio Tinto has debuted a new strategy that will enable it to “protect the provenance” of its Argyle pink diamonds, including a certification service and a concierge trading platform.

“This is the start of a new chapter for Argyle pink diamonds, to ensure they maintain their value and investment potential as a finite, unrepeatable natural resource and achieve the status of outstanding heritage diamonds,” Rio Tinto Minerals CEO Sinead Kaufman said last week.

The venture will also play host to a new Beyond Rare tender platform for special sales events, as well as several strategic collections and collaborations involving existing inventory and the secondary market.

One such venture, the Icon Partner program, will give jewelers licensing rights to use the Argyle Pink Diamonds brand for jewelry they create with any remaining inventory they previously purchased from the Argyle mine. The first two retailers Rio Tinto has authorized are John Calleija, the owner of Australian luxury-jewelry house Calleija, and Singapore-based Glajz THG, owned by John Glajz.

“The secondary market for Argyle pink diamonds comprises almost 40 years of rare, polished pink diamonds, together with heirloom pieces of jewelry, collectibles and objects,” the miner noted. “This market requires careful management to preserve the precious provenance of Argyle pink diamonds and continue the legacy of careful custody that underscores its rarity.

Source; Diamonds.net

Final Argyle Pink Tender Sees Record Result

Argyle pink tender

Rio Tinto achieved record-breaking figures at its 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, with prices strong amid dwindling supply from the mine.

Once in a Blue Moon 

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.  

Source: Diamonds.net

Rio Tinto dazzles in Antwerp with its finest Argyle pink, red and blue diamonds

The Hero Diamonds from the 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender

Rio Tinto’s final Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender collection of rare pink, red, blue and violet diamonds is being showcased to connoisseurs, collectors and luxury jewellers in Antwerp, Belgium.

The Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, an annual invitation-only event for the past 38 years, is widely considered to be the most anticipated diamond sale in the world, showcasing the pinnacle of Argyle’s production to an exclusive group of collectors, diamond connoisseurs and luxury jewellery houses.

Mining ceased at Argyle on 3 November, 2020 and the 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender is the final collection of the rarest diamonds from the final year of Argyle operations.

Patrick Coppens, General manager, Sales and Marketing for Rio Tinto’s diamonds business said “The first Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender was held in Antwerp in 1984 and I am delighted to host the final epic collection in Antwerp. Over the past 38 years Argyle pink diamonds have pushed the boundaries of rarity and value appreciation to new extremes.

“When you consider the number of diamonds presented at the annual Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender since 1984 would barely fill two champagne flutes, you begin to grasp the rarity and the tremendous gravitas of this final collection. Many of the invitees have participated in the annual Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender for more than three decades and across generations, so it is an emotional moment in the history of Rio Tinto’s Argyle Pink Diamonds business and the natural fancy coloured diamond industry.”

Comprising 70 diamonds weighing 81.63 carats, the 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender has a record number of diamonds larger than one carat. The collection is headlined with Lot Number 1, Argyle Eclipse™, a 3.47 carat diamond that is the largest Fancy Intense Pink diamond ever offered at the Tender.

Titled The Journey Beyond, the 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender takes its reference from the 1.5 billion year journey from creation to discovery and their remarkable impact on the world diamond and jewellery history. The Tender collection comprises five ‘hero’ diamonds selected for their unique beauty and named to ensure there is a permanent record of their contribution to the history of the world’s most important diamonds:

Lot 1: Argyle Eclipse™, 3.47 carat, radiant shaped Fancy Intense Pink diamond

Lot 2 : Argyle Stella™ 1.79 carat, square radiant shaped Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink diamond

Lot 3: Argyle Lumiere™ 2.03 carat, square radiant shaped Fancy Deep Pink diamond

Lot 4: Argyle Solaris™ 2.05 carat, radiant shaped Fancy Intense Pink diamond

Lot 5: Argyle Bohème™ 1.01 carat, radiant shaped Fancy Red diamond

Also offered alongside the 2021 annual Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender are 41 lots of carefully curated Argyle blue diamonds, weighing 24.88 carats in total. Titled Once in a Blue Moon, these are the very last blue and violet diamonds to emerge from the Argyle mine.

Both face to face and virtual viewings are being conducted in Antwerp catering for those markets where COVID-19 restrictions prevent travel. Bids close on October 4, 2021.

Source: riotinto

Rio Tinto reveals its final showcase of Argyle pink, red and blue diamonds

argyle heroes tender

Rio Tinto has unveiled a preview of its final showcase of rare Argyle pink, red and blue diamonds from its iconic mine in the remote east Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Mining ceased at Argyle on 3 November, 2020 and the 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender is the final collection of the rarest diamonds from the final year of Argyle operations.

The Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, an annual invitation-only event for the past 38 years, is widely considered to be the most anticipated diamond sale in the world, showcasing the pinnacle of Argyle’s production to an exclusive group of collectors, diamond connoisseurs and luxury jewellery houses.

Rio Tinto puts last diamonds mined at iconic Argyle up for sale
Argyle Eclipse, 3.47 carat, radiant shaped Fancy Intense Pink diamond.

Chief executive of Rio Tinto Minerals, Sinead Kaufman said,“I am delighted to launch this historic collection of extraordinary diamonds, a testament to the amazing Argyle ore body and the men and women who have worked so hard to bring these diamonds to market.”

Comprising 70 diamonds weighing 81.63 carats, the 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender has a record number of diamonds larger than one carat. The collection is headlined with Lot Number 1, Argyle Eclipse™, a 3.47 carat diamond that is the largest Fancy Intense Pink diamond ever offered at the Tender.

Patrick Coppens, General manager of Sales and Marketing for Rio Tinto’s diamonds business who has been involved throughout the history of the Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender said “The Argyle pink diamond story has continued to enthral throughout the years following the remarkable discovery of the Argyle mine in 1979. 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.”

Titled The Journey Beyond, the 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender takes its reference from the 1.5 billion year journey from creation to discovery and their remarkable impact on the world diamond and jewellery history. The Tender collection comprises five ‘hero’ diamonds selected for their unique beauty and named to ensure there is a permanent record of their contribution to the history of the world’s most important diamonds:

Lot 1: Argyle Eclipse™, 3.47 carat, radiant shaped Fancy Intense Pink diamond

Lot 2: Argyle Stella™ 1.79 carat, square radiant shaped Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink diamond

Lot 3: Argyle Lumiere™ 2.03 carat, square radiant shaped Fancy Deep Pink diamond

Lot 4: Argyle Solaris™ 2.05 carat, radiant shaped Fancy Intense Pink diamond

Lot 5: Argyle Bohème™ 1.01 carat, radiant shaped Fancy Red diamond

Also offered alongside the 2021 annual Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender are 41 lots of carefully curated Argyle blue diamonds, weighing 24.88 carats in total. Titled Once in a Blue Moon, these are the very last blue and violet diamonds to emege from the Argyle mine.

Jewellery historian Vivienne Becker said, “this final epoch making offering of pink, red and blue diamonds encapsulates the near-impossible rarity and compelling beauty of the natural treasures gifted to the world by the east Kimberley region of Western Australia. Over the near four decade life span of the Argyle mine, Rio Tinto has built a unique diamond brand of integrity and authenticity, an Australian icon and source of national pride, now recognised and asked for, by name, across the globe.”

The 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender will be showcased in Perth, Antwerp, Singapore and Sydney, subject to COVID-19 protocols. Bids close on September 1, 2021.

Source: riotinto.com

Argyle Diamond Mine Closure: The End of a Sparkling Era

Rio Tinto Argyle diamonds

Pink and red diamonds are among the most special gems in the world. The value of these highly sought-after natural stones speaks for itself, but their rarity has arguably increased since the closure of Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine.

The asset, which ceased mining activity on November 3, 2020, had been in operation since 1983. In that time, 865 million carats of rough diamonds were produced.

The unique geological chemistry of the Western Australia location birthed the rarest hues, including champagne, cognac, blue, violet and of course, the coveted Argyle pink and red diamonds. Millions of carats of white diamonds were produced at the prolific property as well.

After 37 years of output, Argyle’s closure came at a time of flux for the diamond market. The sector has been dealing with reduced demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as shifting demographics.

While mining activity has concluded at the source of 90 percent of the world’s pink gems, diamond analyst Paul Zimnisky noted that Rio Tinto is likely still processing ore from Argyle.

“So Argyle diamonds will probably still be ‘produced’ this year,” he said. “Also, Rio may have some rough inventory overhang following all of the supply chain disruptions last year. But by the end of this calendar year or early next year, I think most of the primary market Argyle rough goods will be off the market.”

Demand for pink diamonds steadily growing

Colored diamonds, especially pink and red, are among the most valued gems on Earth. Prices can range from US$10,000 per carat for less intensely colored stones up to US$70,000 per carat for vivid hues.

Ahead of the Argyle closure, pink diamond prices were on the rise. According to the Fancy Color Research Foundation FCRF, the value of pink diamonds rose 116 percent between 2010 and 2020. That’s more than any other colored diamond segment, including the extremely rare blue diamonds.

Even 2020’s disruptions and closures didn’t dent the rosy outlook for colored stones.

“The prices of all pink diamonds overall remained without a change in Q4 2020, with fancy and fancy intense categories presenting a slight increase,” a FCRF report states. “Although 2020 was challenging in terms of logistics and travel, contrary to market expectations, fancy color diamond prices proved to be resilient, with minor price decreases across the board.”

With as much as 95 percent of global pink diamond supply now removed, there is some anticipation that prices for the gems will continue to increase, perhaps at a faster rate.

Source: investingnews

Pink Diamond Investment

pink diamond from the Legacy Collection

Introducing the Argyle Mine

Over 90% of the world’s annual natural pink diamond supply is mined from one single source: Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine in Western Australia. The mine has been in operation since the early 1980’s, and is scheduled to completely cease all mining operations by 2021 due to exhausted supply.

In anticipation of this closure date, investors buying pink diamonds are seeing an average appreciation of between 10-15% on their diamond portfolios each year.

A diamond mining site.

Pink coloured diamonds can act as an important part of a balanced investment portfolio, offering low correlation and insulation from traditional financial market risks.

Source: diamondportfolio

Rio Tinto closes Argyle diamond mine after 37 years

argyle-diamond-mine

Pink diamonds, already rare, are about to get scarcer as Rio Tinto has closed its iconic Argyle diamond mine, the world’s biggest and the main global source of high-quality pink diamonds.

Since opening its doors 37 years ago, the Western Australia mine produced 865 million carats of rough diamonds and became the source of about 90% of the world’s prized rose-to-magenta hued stones.

The Argyle ore body, a single pipe known as AK1, was discovered in October 1979. Alluvial operations began in 1983, open pit mining kicked off in 1985 and the mine became a fully underground operation in 2013.

Today, Rio has mined the very last of these unique diamonds from the site, located within the ancient Matsu Ranges more than 3,000 km north of Perth.

“Fifty years ago there were very few people who believed there were diamonds in Australia even fewer could have foreseen how the Argyle story would unfold,” Rio Tinto’s chief executive of Copper and Diamonds, Arnaud Soirat, said in a statement.

“To arrive at this final chapter has required vision, courage and determination to overcome significant challenges to enter new territory in diamond exploration, mining and marketing,” Soirat added.

The closure of Argyle will remove about 75% of Rio’s diamond output, yet the impact on the miner’s earnings will be negligible. Diamonds bring in only about 2% of its earnings, while iron ore the company’s main commodity accounts for almost 60%.

The operation will now undergo decommissioning and rehabilitation, which is expected to take five years. After that, Rio will monitor the site for a period yet to be defined.

End of an era

Andrew Wilson, general manager of Argyle, said the mine transformed the diamond sector since its opening, supplying gems for both ends of the market.

“A new chapter will now begin as we start the process of respectfully closing the Argyle mine and rehabilitating the land, to be handed back to its traditional custodians,” he said.

Argyle was Australia’s first large-scale diamond operation, pioneering the fly–in fly–out model, and seen as an opportunity for a workforce drawn from across the nation.

Rio Tinto closes Argyle diamond mine after 37 years
Forty years ago, in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, four diamonds in a dry creek bed ultimately led Rio’s geologists to a massive diamond deposit.

It also triggered the creation and adoption of new technology and exploration methods to make the search for diamonds more efficient across the rugged and remote Kimberley landscape.

At its peak, Argyle churned out 40% of the world’s diamond output, which made it the biggest producer by volume.

Pricy gems

Analysts and auctioneers alike expect prices for pink diamonds to go up and, potentially spur exploration.

Pink stones have already been fetching record prices in the past few years and the closure of their main source could see that trend strengthen.

The “Pink Star” went for $71.2 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in April 2017, setting a record for diamonds sold in auctions.

In 2018, the 18.96-carat Pink Legacy fetched $50 million at Christie’s auction house, breaking the world record for price paid per carat for a pink diamond at auction.

Christie’s to auction largest, finest pink diamond in its history
The Pink Legacy diamond.

At Sotheby’s Hong Kong 2019 sale, one of the star pieces described as an “exquisite 10.64 carat vivid purplish pink diamond” sold for just under $20 million.

Rio Tinto’s own data show that prices for their Argyle pink diamonds jumped by 500% from 2000 to earlier this year.

Source: mining.com

Rio Tinto Ends Mining at Argyle

Argyle Diamond Mine Closure

Rio Tinto will dig the last diamonds up from the ground at its Argyle deposit in Australia on Tuesday, marking the end of an era in the industry.

The company will continue to sift through ore at the adjacent processing plant until December, and will hold the final rough sale at the end of that month, a company spokesperson said.

Rio Tinto first began operations at Argyle in 1983, with the site since becoming the world’s largest diamond mine by volume, producing more than 825 million carats of rough over its lifetime. The deposit is most famous for its colored diamonds, with more than 90% of the world’s rare pink and red diamonds originating from the mine, according to Rio Tinto.

Those pink diamonds take longer to process than general run-of-mine goods, the company noted. Rio Tinto will continue to sell them into the coming year, and will hold its final Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender in 2021.

Once Rio Tinto completes the final production from Argyle, it will undertake a decommissioning, dismantling and rehabilitation process that will last approximately five years.

Source: Diamonds.net

Rare Argyle pink diamonds released ahead of mine closure

Australian Diamond Portfolio

Australian Diamond Portfolio is set to showcase a selection of the last pink diamonds to be unearthed in Australia before Rio Tinto closes the Argyle mine in Western Australia.

It is rumoured that final excavation at the Argyle mine will take place on November 2.

Sydney-based Australian Diamond Portfolio will curate a set of pink diamonds as part of The Legacy Collection, with affordable prices ranging from $1000 to $10,000.

Coveted for its distinctive colour and coupled with its rarity, the pink diamond is one of the most elusive gemstones in the world, according to Australian Diamond Portfolio.

“Unlike yellow diamonds, which comprise over 60 per cent of all fancy colour diamonds produced, natural pinks fall into the same category as blues and reds for their extreme rarity,” it added.

“… The richer the ‘pink’, the rarer and more valuable the stone. Nowhere else in the world can you find pinks with such character and depth of colour and vibrance of tone as those from the Argyle mine.

“Even if a new mine was to be discovered in the near future, it would still take a minimum 10-15 years to reach the actual stage of producing diamonds to sell.”

Australian Diamond Portfolio consultant and master diamond polisher David Burger said nobody could say for certain what exactly gave pink diamonds their stunning colour.

“Other diamonds get their colour from chemical impurities that absorb light, however, no similar impurities have been found in pink diamonds, leading scientists to speculate that the colour may be the result of some kind of seismic shock that altered the stone’s molecular structure instead,” he said.

The Legacy Collection will feature three shades of the Argyle pink diamonds, which are pink, purplish pink and pink rosé, with weights ranging from 0.08 to 0.14 carat.

A percentage of profits will be donated to the McGrath Foundation.

Source: australianmining

Rio Tinto to Sell Final Argyle Specials

Rio Tinto Diavik Helios a 74.48 carat Fancy yellow diamond

Rio Tinto will launch a tender of large rough diamonds, including the last of its special stones from the Argyle deposit in Australia.

The miner will feature 28,399 carats of special-sized rough — weighing more than 10.8 carats — from Argyle at the sale, which will take place in October and November, Rio Tinto said Tuesday. Colored diamonds from the site, which is due to close at the end of the year, as well as a 26-carat, gem-quality rough, will also be available.

“The Argyle rough diamonds presented at this tender are a final rare and collectible offering from one of the world’s greatest diamond mines,” noted Andrew Wilson, general manager of Argyle.

Rio Tinto will also offer large diamonds from its Diavik mine in Canada, including the Diavik Helios, which will headline the sale. The 74.48-carat, fancy-yellow diamond was named for the pure yellow sunlight emitted by the mythical Greek sun god.

“The Diavik Helios is an exceptional diamond in terms of its color saturation and clarity, and will be in strong demand from colored-diamond specialists around the world,” said Patrick Coppens, general manager of sales and marketing for Rio Tinto’s diamond business.

The company will showcase the diamonds physically in Antwerp and Tel Aviv, Israel, prior to the sale. It will also hold virtual and online viewings due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, it said. 

Source: Diamonds.net