JCK Exclusive: Argyle Tender Offers the Pick of the Pinks

Rio Tinto's Argyle Diamond Mine is the world's largest provider of champagne- and cognac-color diamonds. Since 1983, the mine has averaged 30 million cts. of rough per year. In 2005, it produced 30.5 million cts. Each year, that huge volume of brown (and sometimes near-colorless) rough includes a handful of very rare intense, vivid, deep, dark saturated pinks. These stones make up the annual Argyle Tender, a silent-bid auction that takes place in six locations: Perth, Australia; Hong Kong; Tokyo; London; New York; and Geneva. This year's tender comprised 65 stones totaling 61.43 cts., or 0.000002 percent of Argyle's total production last year. The New York event takes place in one of the city's finest hotels, which, for security purposes, we can't identify. Once upstairs, guests pass security guards and enter a living room with a round presentation table that holds 63 important Fancy
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