JCK Web Feature: Argyle’s Pink Diamond Tender

This year’s line-up of the Argyle’s Pink Diamond Tender, the most extraordinary rare pink diamonds in the world, is now in its last week of a world tour silent auction.

The 65 stones (64 Lots) in total, selected from Rio Tinto’s Argyle Diamond Mine 2007 production of approximately 25 million carats, represent the true needles in a haystack. Usually required to weigh over half-a-carat in size to be included in this very special offering, there is a rare and mesmerizing 48 point oval exceptional enough to be included. It is color graded by GIA and the Japanese AGT lab as Fancy Purplish Red.

The largest diamond in the lot is a 3-ct. Radiant cut; a very nice Fancy Intense Pink.

The special invitation-only Argyle Pink Diamond Tender auction is in its 24th year and JCK was there to view and photograph the lot.

For the first time in auction history, Argyle has named two diamonds, an extremely rare 1.01-ct. round brilliant, called “Aphrodite,” color graded by GIA as Fancy Purplish Red. The second named diamond is another extremely rare color, a 1.41-ct. elongated octagon step cut, called the “Ocean Seer,” color graded Fancy Deep Gray-Violet. Argyle also placed two stones to be sold together, a pair of 0.50-ct. round brilliants, both graded Fancy Intense Purplish Pink.

Of the 65 diamonds, a large number for the Argyle Tender, 29 are one-carat and larger. There are 4 reds (2 GIA, 2 AGT), 2 gray-violets, 1 blue-gray, a rare heart shape, and a rare pear shape.

While prices are never ever discussed by Argyle representatives, this was the first year that it has been openly discussed and noted on the bid sheet that if the bids do not reach Argyle’s expectation on any particular stone, an unpublished reserve price, the diamond will not be sold. Winning bids are never published, nor are the names of the winners. Final bids must be received before midnight, Oct. 5, Western Australia local time, (11 a.m. Oct. 6 on the East Coast) and will be reviewed shortly thereafter. The numbers of winners will be announced by Argyle when the Tender review is completed. We will only be able to offer first hand information if the winners are willing to reveal themselves. Guesstimates of this year’s bids range from $100,000/carat and up. Because of the lagging U.S. economy, European and Asian bids are expected to be quite competitive. And bidding on the rare reds and violets as well as the 2 named stones should be rather high.

Our thanks to Argyle representatives Raj Kandiah, Ric Zuiderduyn, Jillian Mann, Tony Sawiris, Robyn Ellison, and Anthea Lema, as well as Jordan Fine of Amgad, Alan Bronstein of Aurora Gems, and Stephen Hofer of Fancy Color Consultants.

Caption: (Top photo) Fancy vivid purplish pink 0.67 cts. (Second photo) 3-ct. fancy intense pink.