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The YourDiamonds.com public tender includes a 2-carat pink diamond (centre) with a price guide of $1.5–2.5 million, as well as several pinks above 1 carat.
The YourDiamonds.com public tender includes a 2-carat pink diamond (centre) with a price guide of $1.5–2.5 million, as well as several pinks above 1 carat.

First 'public tender' of Argyle pink diamonds expected to break records

The first-ever 'public tender' of Argyle pink diamonds, including 33 previously-owned stones ranging from 0.23–2.00 carats, is expected to break the record for the most expensive diamond sold in Australia.

Organised by YourDiamonds.com, the tender will tour Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth in a ‘roadshow’ from 21–28 June, with bids – open globally to both members of the public and the jewellery trade – closing at 5pm on 1 July.

Tim Goodman, YourDiamonds.com founder
Tim Goodman, YourDiamonds.com founder
"Retailers might choose to see a secondary market as good for business as it will give confidence to retail buyers in the primary market, just like in the art business"
Tim Goodman, YourDiamonds.com

Tim Goodman, founder YourDiamonds.com and a former executive chairman of auction house Sotheby’s Australia, said the public tender was the first of its kind and would help to develop a “secondary market” for Argyle pink diamonds, which are currently almost exclusively available to the public through jewellery retailers.

“Some retailers see the public tender as competition, however others have been supportive. There has never been a liquid secondary market for Argyle pink diamonds – we are solving that problem,” Goodman explained.

He added, “Retailers might choose to see a secondary market as good for business as it will give confidence to retail buyers in the primary market, just like in the art business.”

Following the closure of the Argyle Mine in Western Australia in November 2020, demand for pink diamonds has surged, with Goodman pointing to several recent auction records as well as the increasing number of consumers who view pink diamonds as an investment.

“There is a lot of interest around pinks at the moment due to the closure of the Argyle Mine and some astronomical prices achieved at recent auctions in Hong Kong. Also, with interest rates at historical lows, the market is seeking out performing alternative asset classes – and performing pink diamonds are!” he said.

According to the Fancy Color Research Foundation – which collates sales data of pink, yellow, and blue diamonds – pink diamond prices increased by 116 per cent between 2009 and 2019; Argyle pink diamonds outperformed the category as a whole, with the mine’s operator, Rio Tinto, stating prices appreciated by 500 per cent between 2000 and 2020.

“The primary market is strong and the timing is perfect for sellers," Goodman explained.

"Subject to the success of this first project we intend to conduct a public tender of Australian pink diamonds twice a year. We may extend the scope to include diamonds of other colours originally sourced from the Argyle Mine."

He added that future ‘roadshows’ of pink diamonds would likely expand to include international locations, subject to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to the public tender, YourDiamonds.com also develops technology products for the diamond industry, including an online trade platform, price index, and automated insurance appraisals.

Its board of directors includes Jim Fernandez, former executive vice-president Tiffany & Co., and Her Highness Shaikha Dheya bint Ebrahim Al Khalifa, a member of the Bahraini royal family.

Tender diamonds in focus

The YourDiamonds.com public tender comprises 33 certified Argyle-origin pink diamonds, including five sourced from the property of a mortgagee-in-possession in Adelaide, 11 from the extensive private collection of Diosma Fitzpatrick in Brisbane and the remainder from a Sydney private collection.

The Fitzpatrick collection features rare matched pairs as well as several pink diamonds above 1 carat, including an exceptional 2-carat fancy intense purplish pink round brilliant.

With a price guide of $1.5–2.5 million, that stone is expected to smash the record for the most expensive diamond sold in Australia; in April 2021, auction house Leonard Joel sold a 25.02-carat white diamond ring for $1.125 million.

A passionate pink diamond collector, Fitzpatrick first encountered Argyle stones in 1987 – less than five years into the mine’s operational life.

Speaking to Jeweller, she recalled, “The late Arthur Sims, who was then the manager of Hardy Brothers in Brisbane, gave a talk at my son's school. He mentioned pink diamonds and of course I questioned him in-depth, and he said that they had one in the store, so I went to view it.”

Diosma Fitzpatrick, pink diamond collector
Diosma Fitzpatrick, pink diamond collector
"The heart-shape was my favourite because it was, at that stage, the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen in the way of gemstones. It did remain quite a favourite, but then the 2-carat came along and that was another story"
Diosma Fitzpatrick, pink diamond collector

Pink diamonds first piqued Fitzpatrick’s interest in her childhood: “When I was a small child, maybe pre-school, I had a book about an Angora cat who lived at the bottom of the ocean – why she was there, I don't know – and she had a tiara made of pearl that had a central oval pink diamond. Her name was Princess Pearly.

“The diamond at the Hardy Brothers store was a half-carat brownish pink – not nearly so nice as Princess Pearly's! – but it was fascinating all the same, and I purchased it. After that my interest grew.”

At the time, Hardy Brothers was one of a handful of appointed Argyle Mine agents; Fitzpatrick is in possession of a 1987 letter from the Argyle Mine to Hardy Brothers with several of her diamonds listed.

Fitzpatrick attended the Argyle Mine stand at The 1988 World Expo in Brisbane, where she purchased two more pinks – a heart-shape with “beautiful colour” and a pear; later that year, she was invited to visit the Argyle Mine in person.

“That was fun! It was very interesting," she told Jeweller. "I remember thinking, ‘I hope they find more [pink diamonds]!’”

Asked about her favourite pinks, Fitzpatrick said, “The heart-shape was my favourite because it was, at that stage, the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen in the way of gemstones. It did remain quite a favourite, but then the 2-carat came along and that was another story.”

While one of her pink diamonds was gifted to her daughter, Fitzpatrick decided to sell the remainder of collection because they “need to go to a good home”, telling Jeweller, "I always wore them – studs in my ears, a ring on my finger – but I no longer have the lifestyle where you can wear that kind of jewellery every day. That's no longer applicable to my life, so I think someone else should enjoy them!”

The Fitzpatrick Collection can be viewed in person, alongside the other public tender diamonds, via bookings on the YourDiamonds.com website.

Sealed tender bids will be opened at 10:00am in Sydney on 2 July 2021 in the presence of a partner at accounting firm Grant Thornton.

 

Largest diamonds at the public tender

Above: 1/011 - 1.43 carat Fancy Pink, from a Sydney private collectionAbove: 1/016 - 1.22 carat Fancy Intense Pink, from the Fitzpatrick CollectionAbove: 1/017 - 2 carat Fancy Intense Purplish Pink, from the Fitzpatrick Collection
Above: 1/018 - 1.48 carat Fancy Intense Purplish Pink, from the Fitzpatrick CollectionAbove: 1/020A & B - 1.15 carat Fancy Intense Purplish Pink and 1.15 carat Fancy Purplish Pink, from the Fitzpatrick CollectionAbove: 1/021 - 1.41 carat Fancy Intense Pink, from the Fitzpatrick Collection

 

More reading:
From birth to timeless legacy: The complete story of Argyle pink diamonds
Recent record breakers: Pink diamond sold for $37 million
Final Argyle Tender diamonds unveiled; most stones since 2012 
Fancy colour diamonds: A natural selection











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