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The 2019 Argyle Tender results have been announced, with an Australian business taking the top lot.
The 2019 Argyle Tender results have been announced, with an Australian business taking the top lot.

Results of 2019 Argyle Diamond Tender revealed

Rio Tinto has announced the results of the 2019 Argyle Tender, with a double-digit increase in the number of bids received.

Entitled ‘The Quest for the Absolute’, this year’s Tender featured 64 pink and red diamonds. Six ‘hero’ stones, weighing between 1.07 and 2.01 carats, were selected for their exceptional characteristics.

While the value of the winning bids is confidential, Rio Tinto confirmed Australia’s Blue Star & Kiven Diamonds secured the top lot – the 1.75-carat fancy red Argyle Enigma – as well as the Argyle Verity, a 1.37-carat fancy vivid purplish-pink.

Ron Kiven, director Blue Star & Kiven Diamonds, said, “No other diamonds on Earth match the rarity and provenance of Argyle pink diamonds. To have acquired two of the last Argyle pink diamonds to ever be unearthed, and one of the few fancy red Argyle diamonds in existence, is the ultimate privilege.”

With the Argyle Mine set to close in 2020, Arnaud Soirat, chief executive copper and diamonds Rio Tinto, previously told Reuters that up to two more Tenders could be held, depending on the mine’s output.

Ron Kiven, Blue Star & Kiven Diamonds
Ron Kiven, Blue Star & Kiven Diamonds
“No other diamonds on Earth match the rarity and provenance of Argyle pink diamonds”
Ron Kiven, Blue Star & Kiven Diamonds

The Tender was accompanied by the Pink Everlastings Collection, a selection of Argyle diamonds across the pink colour spectrum, weighing 0.14 carats or less. Hong Kong-based Kunming Diamonds, which specialises in natural fancy colour diamonds, purchased all 64 lots.

Harsh Maheshwari, director Kunming Diamonds, said the purchase was “a dream come true”, and added, “With the imminent closure of the Argyle Mine, a collection such as this deserves to be showcased to the world and we look forward to announcing our plans at a later date.”

Alan Chirgwin, vice president of sales and marketing, Rio Tinto Copper & Diamonds, said this year’s result “underscores the ongoing value appreciation” of pink diamonds.

Rio Tinto continues diamond search
Less than 100 carats of equivalent pink diamonds is expected to be produced by the Argyle site before its closure. However, Soirat confirmed Rio Tinto would maintain its Canadian diamond investments.

Earlier this month, the company opted to increase its stake in the Star-Orion South diamond site in the province of Saskatchewan. The decision will take Rio Tinto’s investment to 60 per cent of the project, which is a joint venture with Star Diamond Corp.

Recent sampling indicated 27 per cent of the diamonds at the Star kimberlite are Type IIa; pink diamonds always belong to this category. 

While yellow diamonds have been discovered at Star-Orion and at Rio Tinto’s other Canadian mining venture, the Diavik Mine in the Northwest Territories, no pink diamonds have been unearthed in either location.

In addition to Australia and Canada, pink diamonds have also been found in Botswana, Brazil, Russia, South Africa and Tanzania.

More reading:
Argyle’s new pink diamond collection
Fancy colour diamonds found in Botswana as Argyle closure approaches
Australia’s diamond production to plummet 99 per cent with Argyle closure


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Monday, 16 December, 2019 12:04am
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