Kimberley Region, Australia--Rio Tinto unveiled its 2019 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, an annual showcase of the world’s rarest pink and red diamonds, in an exclusive preview at the Argyle mine site in the east Kimberley region of Western Australia before it goes on tour to Perth, Hong Kong, and New York. The 64-diamond collection weighs 56.28 carats total and includes three fancy red diamonds. But this year’s Pink Tender is very likely one of the last such offerings to happen. (Left: the Argyle Enigma, a 1.75 carat fancy red modified radiant.)
Rio Tinto, owner of the Argyle mine in Australia and the Diavik Mine in Canada, has previously stated its intention to close Argyle next year after nearly 40 years in operation. Argyle production was down 5% in Q2 2019 compared to the same period last year, and it’s been no secret that the mine is nearly tapped out insofar as economically viable production goes.
While especially noted for its lower-quality small commercial diamonds—the kind that brought $99 tennis bracelets to market—Argyle’s production of fine quality fancy pinks, reds, purples, and even deep cognac diamonds gave it a place of honor among luxury jewelers and cemented the idea of fancy color diamonds in the industry’s consciousness. But after the mine closes, those stones are expected to gain even more value.
Arnaud Soirat, CEO of Rio Tinto Copper & Diamonds division, said, “Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine is the first and only ongoing source of rare pink diamonds in history. With the lifecycle of this extraordinary mine approaching its end, we have seen, and continue to see, unstoppable demand for these truly limited-edition diamonds and strong value appreciation.” He also paid tribute to “the bold and innovative spirit of employees, communities, customers and suppliers and all those who have contributed to one of the great diamond mines of the world.”
The 2019 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender collection, titled “The Quest for the Absolute,” comprises six trademarked hero diamonds among the 64 total:
Left to right: The six hero stones in the 2019 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender include the Verity, Enigma, Amari, Opus, Elysian, and Avenoir.
Bids close on October 9, 2019.