Rio Tinto, one of the world’s largest mining companies with 60 projects and operations in 36 countries around the world, employing 46,000 workers, producing essential materials for human progress, such as Iron ore for steel; Aluminium for cars and smart phones; Copper for wind turbines, electric cars and pipes used in water supply; titanium for paint; Borates that help crops grow and Diamonds used in jewelry, that celebrate the best things of life, have announced the closure of some of its uneconomic mines, that includes the Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia.
The Argyle Diamond Mine discovered in 1979 and operated since 1983, is the world’s largest diamond mine by volume, producing 12.9 million carats in 2019, though most of its output consists of lower-quality white and brown diamonds. However, the mine is more famous for its consistent supply of pink, red, violet and blue diamonds, though they are of smaller size.
“Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine is the first and only ongoing source of rare pink, red and violet diamonds in the world. We have seen, and continue to see, strong demand for these highly coveted diamonds, which together with extremely limited global supply, supports the significant value appreciation for Argyle pink diamonds.” Said Arnaud Soirat, Rio Tinto chief executive of Copper and Diamonds.
The iconic Argyle Diamond Mine, is due to close at the end of this year, and in this connection, Rio Tinto is holding one of its final Pink Diamond Tenders, the 2020 Argyle Pink Diamond Tender, appropriately christened, “One Lifetime, One Encounter” referring to the closure of the iconic mine at the end of year 2020, after almost four decades of production.
The final Argyle Pink Diamond Tender promises to be a memorable and historic one, given the array of rare, cut and polished colored diamonds lined up for the sale, consisting of 62 diamonds with a combined weight of 57.23 carats. The Tender will be spearheaded by a collection known as the “Hero Diamonds” comprising of six diamonds, selected for their unique beauty and named to ensure there is a permanent record of their contribution to the history of the world’s most important diamonds. The six “Hero Diamonds” given Lot Nos. 1 to 6 are listed below :-
Lot 1 – Argyle Eternity – A 2.24-carat, round brilliant-cut, Fancy Vivid Purplish-Pink diamond.
Lot 2 – Argyle Ethereal – A 2.45-carat, square radiant-cut, Fancy Intense Purple-Pink diamond.
Lot 3 – Argyle Sakura – A 1.84-carat, pear-shaped, Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink diamond.
Lot 4 – Argyle Emrys – A 0.43-carat, princess-cut, Fancy Deep Grayish-Violetish-Blue diamond.
Lot 5 – Argyle Skylar – A 0.33 carat, heart-shaped, Fancy Dark Gray-Violet diamond.
Lot 6 – Argyle Infinite – A 0.70-carat, oval-shaped, Fancy Dark Violet-Gray diamond.
Other highlights of the sale include the Petite Suites Collection, consisting of 13 Petit Oiseau diamonds and five Zenith diamonds, carefully curated and never to be repeated sets of miniature rare Argyle pink, red, blue and violet diamonds, weighing 13.90 carats in total. Titled The Petite Suites, these collectible diamonds have been meticulously collected over a five year period, striking a harmonious balance between size, shape, colour and clarity.
Commenting on the upcoming diamond tender, Patrick Coppens, General Manager of Sales and Marketing for Rio Tinto’s diamonds business said “The Argyle pink diamond story has continued to enthrall throughout the years following the remarkable discovery of the Argyle mine in 1979. The 2020 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender is a collection of rare earthly treasures, intricate works of art and with a potency of colour that will be keenly sought after by collectors and connoisseurs from around the world.”
In view of upcoming final tender, Rio Tinto has already held a preview of the rare Argyle pink, red, violet and blue diamonds from its iconic diamond mines to an exclusive group of collectors, diamond connoisseurs and luxury jewellery houses, before viewings later in the year at the Argyle mine, in Perth and then travelling to Singapore and Antwerp. Bids for the tender are due to close on December 2, 2020.