Rio Tinto has recently unveiled its famed Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender in Sydney, Australia. This is the company’s 30th anniversary for offering such sales. The preview, one of the world’s most highly anticipated diamond sales, is designed to give buyers and merchants a chance to see the 2014 Argyle collection. This tender boasts four extremely rare Fancy Red diamonds, all of which are expected to bring in bids worth over $1 million per carat.
Comprising a total of 55 stones, the collection includes 51 pink and purplish red diamonds as well as the four extremely rate and beautiful Fancy Reds. Most of the world’s rare pink and red diamonds are mined in the Argyle mine.
In the 30 years of Rio Tinto’s tenders, only 9 other Fancy Red diamonds have been on offer, bringing a total of 13 Fancy Red diamonds to have been included in the sales.
Perhaps the singularly most incredible diamond of the collection is the 1.21 carat Argyle Cardinal. Named after a brightly colored North Americn bird, this radiant cut Fancy Red diamond is set to bring in bids in the millions of dollars.
Another diamond highlighted in the Argyle sale is the Argyle Rosette. Coming in at 2.17 carats and continuing the rare bird theme, the Argyle Rosette is named after the Roseate Turn, a European bird, known for being quite rare. It is likely this rarity that inspired Argyle to name the emerald cut, Purple-Pink diamond specifically after this bird.
Another headliner in the sale is the emerald cut Argyle Toki. A Fancy Intense Purplish Pink diamond, it measures 1.59 carats.
“These are all one-of-a-kind gems,” said the manager of the Argyle Pink Diamonds, Josephine Johnson, “that will take their place in the history of great collectible diamonds.” Diamonds such as these customarily bring in bids of staggering proportions. Carat prices in the millions of dollars is expected as pink and red diamonds typically fetch prices roughly 50 times that of white diamonds.
Some recent examples include the Argyle Phoenix an Argyle produced diamond. Last October, this stone sold in excess of $2 million. At 1.56 carat, this was the mine’s largest red diamond, and it sold to a Singapore-based jeweller. This was the highest price per carat ever paid at a tender for one of the mine’s diamonds.
But that wasn’t the only record broken at that tender. The Argyle Dauphine also broke a record when it was bought for more than $2 million. The Argyle Dauphine, a 2.51 carat Fancy Deep Pink diamond, was purchased by a dealer from the United States.
Strong demand from investors
The tender is anticipated to draw global demand for the stones. Josephine Johnson recently said that the nature of the diamond sales had changed, with buyers becoming increasingly global. “Our traditional markets — the heartland of the business — is really in Australia, Japan, United States and Europe,” Johnson said. “However, in the last three to four years, we’ve seen the emergence of particularly India and China, and now we see that the around 50 to 65 diamonds each year really go quite equally to all corners of the globe.”
In addition, she said, today buyers are more and more pursuing diamonds as investment. “Five years ago, I would have said that maybe 10 to 20 percent of our diamonds went into collections — never left the box, held in a vault somewhere,” said Johnson. “Now it’s more like half, and the level of inquiry that we get around our tender-quality diamonds from banks and investment houses has certainly increased over the last two years.”
Managing director of Rio Tinto Diamonds, Jean-Marc Lieberherr, also commented on the changes he has seen over the years: “Decades ago, no one would have believed that Australia held the secret of diamonds, let alone virtually the world’s entire source of rare pink and red diamonds. The pinnacle of the production from Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine, the annual pink tender diamonds are now celebrated internationally as amongst the rarest and most valuable diamonds in the world. We have seen and continue to see sustained demand and price growth for Argyle pink diamonds.”
The diamonds will be traveling across the globe, with viewings scheduled for New York, Hong Kong, and Perth following their opening in Sydney. Bidding is scheduled to close on October 8, 2014.