Lucapa Diamond Company has recovered one of the largest pink diamonds in history: a 170-carat stone from the Lulo mine in Angola.
The type IIa rough, named the Lulo Rose, is “believed to be the largest pink diamond recovered in the last 300 years,” Lucapa said Wednesday. It is also the fifth-largest diamond from Lulo, and the deposit’s 27th over 100 carats since commercial production began in 2015. Lucapa plans to sell the diamond through an international tender conducted by Angolan state diamond-marketing company Sodiam, it noted.
“The record-breaking Lulo diamond field has again delivered a precious and large gemstone, this time an extremely rare and beautiful pink diamond,” said José Manuel Ganga Júnior, chairman of the board of state-owned Endiama, one of Lucapa’s partners in the deposit. “It is a significant day for the Angolan diamond industry.”
In addition to the pink, Lulo is also the source of Angola’s largest diamond, a 404-carat rough named the 4th February Stone.
Lucapa has begun bulk sampling at “priority kimberlites” as it searches for the primary source of Lulo’s diamonds, managing director Stephen Wetherall added.
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.
The 5.63 carat Fancy Vivid purplish pink Graff Lesotho Pink diamond was cut from a 13.33 carat pink diamond crystal discovered at the Letšeng mine in Lesotho.
The Letšeng mine is legendary for its large, high-quality diamonds and uses technologically advanced equipment for diamond extraction. Diamond mining companies in the African kingdom of Lesotho have built roads to connect some of the most remote and rugged areas of the country.
They’ve also offered isolated communities greater access to health care, education and employment. The diamond industry provides many scholarships and internships to university students and constructs primary and secondary schools.
Know your diamond’s origin to know the impact it has on the communities in the country where it was mined.
Petra is to offer a 32.32-carat pink diamond at its first tender of goods from the Williamson mine, in Tanzania following a Covid-enforced closure.
The stone is among 26,000 carats that will be offered in Antwerp from 19 to 26 November. The London-based miner classified Williamson as “an asset held for sale for financial reporting purposes” after a a debt-for-equity restructuring. The open-pit mine was mothballed in April 2020 to “preserve its liquidity, at a time when diamond pricing was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic”. Operations resumed in Q1 FY 2022.
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 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.
Lucara keeps raking in the big diamond finds, this time recovering a 62.7-carat fancy pink diamond from its Karowe mine in Botswana.
It is the largest fancy pink gem to found in Botswana, according to the diamond miner, and one of the largest rough pink diamonds on record in the world.
The stone has been named “Boitumelo,” which means joys in Setswana.
Measuring 26 x 17 x 16 mm, it is described as a high-quality fancy pink Type IIa gem.
Lucara uncovered it from the direct ore milling at the EM/PK(S) unit of the South Lobe, the site of many of its biggest finds.
The company said a 22.21-carat fancy pink gem of similar quality was found during the same production period, as were two more pink gems of similar color weighing 11.17 carats and 5.05 carats.
Asked if those additional small pink diamonds could’ve broken off from the same piece as the 62.7-carat diamond, a company spokesperson said: “As the diamonds all came from a similar production period it may be possible, but we cannot confirm this at this time. Further detailed analysis needs to be carried out to confirm if they did indeed originally stem from one diamond.”
Regarding the find, CEO Eira Thomas said, “Lucara is delighted to announce another historic diamond with the recovery of the Boitumelo, and very pleased to demonstrate the continued potential for large, colored diamonds from the South Lobe production.
“These remarkable pink diamonds join a collection of significant diamond recoveries in 2021 produced from the EM/PK(S), which forms a key economic driver for the proposed underground mine at Karowe.”
A 21.86 carat natural pink diamond named “The Pink Palesa” will be sold by the Bonas Group in Antwerp in July.
The pink gem was discovered on May 18 at the Kao mine in Lesotho one of the few sources of pink diamonds in the world following the closure of the iconic Argyle mine last year. Argyle provided about 90% of the world’s pink gems. Kao is operated and owned by Namakwa through its subsidiary, Storm Mountain Diamonds.
According to the report, Kao has yielded several pink diamonds in the last few years: The 25.97 carat Pink Dawn (2021), the 36.06-carat Pink Storm sold in 2014, the 3.06 carat Purple Princess (2017) and the 29.59 carat Rose of Kao (2018).
The Sakura ring was the star at Christie’s Hong Kong, setting a world-record auction price for a purple-pink diamond.
The cushion-cut, 15.81-carat, fancy-vivid, internally flawless stone sold within its estimate for $29.3 million, or $1.9 million per carat, at the May 23 Magnificent Jewels auction, Christie’s said Sunday. The piece, purchased by a private Asian buyer, was also the most valuable jewel sold at auction so far this year. Overall, the Hong Kong sale raked in $76.8 million, the auction house’s highest total for a jewelry auction in four years.
“We are very excited to have marked another important chapter in jewelry-auction history today, with The Sakura realizing a record-breaking price,” said Vickie Sek, chairman of Christie’s Asia Pacific jewelry department. “The strong sell-through rates and exceptional prices achieved for top-quality colored diamonds and gemstones reflect a robust market demand.”
However, even with the record pricing, the pink diamond still fell short of its $38 million high estimate.
“I would not consider this to be at the lower end of the market price, but there was room for it to go [further] if the current economic stability and situation was better,” Harsh Maheshwari, executive director of colored-diamond dealer Kunming Diamonds, told Rapaport News. “Post-Covid-19, if a similar item were to be auctioned, it would possibly touch, or break, the higher end of the estimated price.”
Meanwhile, The Sweet Heart, a heart-shaped, 4.19-carat, fancy-vivid-pink diamond ring, brought in $6.6 million, or $1.6 million per carat, within its presale valuation.
Other notable items include a necklace with a 50.05-carat, D-flawless, type IIa briolette diamond pendant, which garnered $2.7 million. That price, which comes to $53,399 per carat, was just above its low estimate. A square emerald-cut, 31.17-carat, fancy-vivid-yellow, VS2-clarity diamond ring went for $2.2 million, smashing its high estimate, as did a Cartier necklace with diamonds and five Colombian emeralds weighing a total of 16.43 carats, which achieved $2.1 million.
Overall, Christie’s sold 82% of items on offer at the auction.
A fancy-intense-pink diamond ring with a high estimate of CHF 11 million ($12 million) is set to feature in the Magnificent Jewels sale at Christie’s Geneva.
The oval-shaped, 15.23-carat piece, surrounded by diamonds, will be offered alongside the 100.94-carat Alrosa Spectacle diamond at the May 12 auction, Christie’s said last week.
Other notable items include a heart-shaped, 53.33-carat, D-color, VVS1-clarity, type IIa diamond pendant with a high valuation of CHF 3 million ($3.3 million). A pear-shaped, 141.22-carat, fancy-brown-yellow diamond set in a diamond necklace is also on offer, carrying a high estimate of CHF 2.8 million ($3.1 million).
Meanwhile, a ring featuring a 47-carat, cushion-shaped old mine Colombian emerald surrounded by diamonds will go under the hammer. The jewel, which is from an important private collection, carries a high presale estimate of CHF 1.6 million ($1.7 million).
Christie’s will also sell a rectangular cut-cornered, 8.06-carat, fancy-purplish-pink, VVS2-clarity diamond ring bracketed by tapered baguette-cut diamonds. The piece, created by Boucheron, has a high valuation of CHF 1.5 million ($1.6 million).
Christie’s will preview the items from May 8. The sale will also feature an online component, which will be open for bidding between April 29 and May 10.