The 23rd annual Rio Tinto Diamonds Argyle Pink Diamond Tender will be held in New York from Oct. 1 – 12. It will follow two other sales in Perth (recently completed) and in Hong Kong (Sept. 18 – 28).
The world’s most exclusive diamond sale will feature 65 of the world’s rarest pink diamonds from the Argyle mine in Australia—the world’s main source of pink diamonds with an unparalleled depth of color and quality.
This year, Rio Tinto officials said its Argyle Signature Stones possess deeper and more vivid color intensity than previously seen in the tenders. “Spectacular purplish reds, as well as stunning deep pinks and a rare grey-violet diamond,” are included, according to a statement.
Since the first pink diamonds were recovered from the mine in 1985, demand for these gems has attracted a cadre of elite and discrete buyers. The pink diamond jewelry market is now worth hundreds of millions of dollars as the desire to own the rarest has sent prices skyrocketing. Each diamond is so unique that it warrants an individual price tag.
To put the true rarity of the Argyle Signature Stones into perspective, Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine produces on average 30 million carats of rough diamonds per year. From this annual production only about 8,000 to 10,000 carats of polished pink diamonds are produced and of these a mere 65 carats are deemed as suitable for the Pink Diamond Tender.
Pink diamonds from the Argyle mine are dated at approximately 1.6 billion years old, but are predicted to run out by 2018. This forecast has enhanced their exclusivity and image as a key investment option.
Despite demand, attendance to the tender is restricted to approximately 100 key clientele from around the world who will personally view the diamonds in a secret location in Hong Kong, New York, or Perth. Due to the high security required for the tender, the exact location is not revealed to bidders until the very last minute. Bids are confidential and the names of successful bidders and the values achieved are not disclosed. Those that are successful will be notified personally in October.
“What you see in the Pink Tender are some of the rarest and most valuable gems in the world,” said Jean-Marc Lieberherr, general manager marketing, Rio Tinto Diamonds. “Every one of these Argyle Signature Stones is unique and exquisite; if it doesn’t have that ‘wow’ factor, it just doesn’t make it into the collection.”
He continued, “As far as pink diamonds are concerned, it’s not about size and clarity as it is for white diamonds: colour intensity is what matters. So the darker they are the more expensive they are, with the rare deep red the ultimate prize. This year, the 65 Argyle Signature Stones we have selected are deeper and more vivid than in previous years, so this is a very exciting and valuable collection.”