Courtesy Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto has donated 500 carats of Australian rough diamonds to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
The diamonds were officially presented to the Smithsonian by chief executive Sam Walsh in an event at the Australian Embassy.
The diamonds are from the company’s Argyle diamond mine in northwest Australia, and the donation marks the first collection of Argyle diamonds at the Smithsonian. The mine is the world’s largest producer of natural colored diamonds and the only ongoing source of pink diamonds.
“Rio Tinto’s generous donation is a significant addition to our gem collection and will allow us to study in more detail the unique properties of diamonds from one of the world’s great ore bodies,” said Jeff Post, curator of the Smithsonian’s National Gem and Mineral Collection, in a statement.
Walsh added: “We are honored to partner with such an esteemed scientific institution as the Smithsonian, and we are proud to share Rio Tinto’s story of our unique Argyle diamonds. This donation of Argyle diamonds represents an important piece of Australian mining history, and we hope that it will be enjoyed by millions of people for many years to come.”