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Articles from DIAMOND JEWELLERY (984 Articles), GEMSET JEWELLERY (316 Articles), DIAMONDS BY CUT - BRILLIANT (ROUND) (286 Articles)

One of Calleija's stunning pink diamond rings
One of Calleija's stunning pink diamond rings

Rio announces winning bids for rare diamonds

Rio Tinto closed its Argyle Pink Diamonds tender last week, reporting strong demand with some buyers being disappointed with unsuccessful bids.

Bids on 55 of the best pink diamonds from Rio’s Argyle Diamond mine in Western Australia closed October 20.

Jean-Marc Lieberherr, general manager of Rio Tinto Diamonds said investors, collectors and luxury jewellers keenly contested the collection.

“The final results demonstrated significant global reach and continued strong price appreciation,” Lieberherr said. “The world has developed a real passion for these natural treasures.”

Rio Tinto reported that bidders in Japan found considerable success in the tender, including the acquisition of the Argyle ‘Alanya,’ a 1.06 carat Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink diamond. Japan remains the world’s largest consumer market for pink diamonds, with all shades of pink diamonds in strong demand by Japanese designers.

Josephine Archer, manager at Argyle Pink Diamonds said this year’s collection included a record 11 heart shaped pink diamonds, which were highly popular, particularly by Australian and Asian bidders.

“We were delighted to see such a strong appetite for a unique collection of heart-shaped diamonds,” Archer said. “The largest heart, a 1.31 carat Fancy Intense Pink, has a new home in China, an important emerging market for rare pink diamonds.”

Archer added that Rio have been spending considerable effort in raising awareness and understanding of Pink Diamonds to the Asian market, due to the increased demand the stones garner from there.

John Calleija of Sydney-based designer and retailer Calleija Jewellers is a regular attendee of Rio’s Pink Diamond tender and said this year signalled a shift in demand, identifying new markets for the rare stones.

“I have been attending these tenders for 20 years now and it’s remarkable how highly contested it was,” Calleija said. “I picked up two diamonds which I am very happy with, but a lot of Australians were disappointed.”

Calleija told Jeweller, many Australian bidders rued their decision to bid conservatively, despite knowing the popularity of the stones throughout Asian markets.

“The market is experiencing a new momentum, which is driving the prices sky-high,” Calleija said. “An associate of mine bid on 40 stones, and only got four of them.”

Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine accounts for more than 90 per cent of the world’s pink diamonds and according to Calleija, supply is expected to come to an end by 2019.

“There is less than a decade left for the mine, so consumers realise the rarity of pink diamonds,” Calleija said. “It has increased my clients’ interest in this year’s tender.”

Meanwhile, Calleija has already sold one of the two tendered stones and expects to finalise a buyer for the second stone in due course.

“The bids were finalised last week and I am in the process of paying for it,” Calleija said. “They (the stones) are coming in next week and I have already sold one.”

This year’s 55 tendered diamonds were all cut and polished in Western Australia by Rio’s craftsmen and with supply dwindling, pink diamonds are predicted to appreciate further.

More reading:
Jewellers ‘tickled pink’ at gem sale
Pink diamond sets Asian auction record

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