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  • The ‘Masterpiece 2’ creative set of six fancy vivid purplish pink and purple pink pear-shaped diamonds from Rio Tinto’s Argyle diamond mine in Australia.

Rio Tinto’s Rare Fancy-Coloured Diamonds Fetch High Prices at New Tender


Rio Tinto held its first Beyond Rare Tender, a new sale format for its diamond business recently. The tender featured a collection of 87 rare fancy-coloured diamonds including polished pink and red diamonds from its Argyle diamond mine in Australia, which closed in November 2020, and yellow diamonds from the Diavik diamond mine in Canada. 


The collection, titled Born of this World, attracted strong global interest from luxury jewellers, collectors and connoisseurs, who bid for the 48 lots, weighing 29.96 carats in total. The successful bidders came from various countries and regions, including Australia, Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, US and Israel.


Sinead Kaufman, chief executive of Rio Tinto minerals, said the tender reflected the global demand and value creation for highly collectible natural coloured diamonds. She added: “We are delighted with the results from this new sale format for Rio Tinto’s diamonds business.”


The tender included seven sets of diamonds, named ‘Masterpieces’, eleven perfectly matched pairs and 30 single diamonds, all with exceptional provenance and rarity. The only fancy red diamond in the collection, a 0.21 carat round brilliant cut, was won by Kimberley Fine Diamonds, a bespoke jeweller based in Kununurra, Australia, near the Argyle diamond mine. Owner Frauke Bolten-Boshammer said she was thrilled to keep the extraordinary gem in Australia. “It is an extraordinary diamond of esteemed provenance, with a beauty that reflects its magnificent birthplace here in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia,” she said.


Another successful bidder was Japanese jeweller Gimel, which has been creating hand-crafted pieces with Argyle pink diamonds for the past 25 years. Kaoru Kay Akihara, Gimel’s lead designer, said she was looking forward to transforming the diamonds into works of art. She commented: “We have a long relationship with the beautiful and rare Argyle pink diamonds, and we are looking forward to transforming our successful bids into works of art, to be treasured for future generations.”


The tender also saw strong participation from Hong Kong-based Kunming, a longstanding Argyle Pink Diamonds Authorised Partner™. Harsh Maheshwari, executive director of Kunming, said: “We see strong ongoing market demand for the truly rare – irreplaceable fancy-coloured natural diamonds with impeccable provenance. These diamonds are in a league of their own and will consistently transcend the fluctuations of economic cycles.” (Photo courtesy: Rio Tinto)




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