MELBOURNE, Australia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rio Tinto’s 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds™ Tender collection of 70 rare pink and red diamonds from its Argyle mine in Australia has delivered the most significant set of record breaking results in its 38-year history.
The 2021 collection, titled The Journey Beyond™, is a historical collection comprising the pinnacle of the Argyle production, mined in its final year of operations, before closing in November 2020.
The 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds™ Tender delivered record breaking price performance across individual diamonds and for the overall collection. The diamonds were fiercely contested around the world in a series of virtual and face to face viewings.
Sinead Kaufman, Chief Executive of Rio Tinto Minerals said “We are delighted with these results that are a reflection of the beauty, rarity and unique provenance of Argyle pink diamonds. They are also a testament to all those involved in taking these gems from a mine in remote Western Australia to the world.”
The 2021 collection continued its trajectory of double digit price growth with 19 successful bidders from nine countries. Lot Number 1, Argyle Eclipse™, a 3.47 carat, radiant shaped Fancy Intense Pink diamond was won by famed Australian jeweller and Argyle Pink Diamonds Select Atelier™, Calleija. Calleija was also the successful bidder for Lot Number 5, Argyle Bohème ™ a 1.01 Carat, radiant shaped Fancy Red diamond. With COVID-19 restrictions in place in Australia Calleija bid exclusively based on a virtual viewing of the collection.
Jeweller John Calleija said “It is an extraordinary opportunity and a privilege to be part of this historic collection. We are humbled to be the custodians of these uniquely Australian jewels and are delighted to be part of their enduring legacy.”
The other three hero diamonds from the 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds collection were won by long standing bidders, with Lot Number 2, Argyle Stella™ and Lot Number 4, Argyle Solaris™ going to Singapore and Lot Number 3, Argyle Lumiere™ to the US.
Almost the entire world’s supply of rare pink, red and violet diamonds come from Rio Tinto’s Argyle diamond mine which ceased production on 3 November, 2020. With 37 years of Argyle pink diamond production in global markets Rio Tinto made the decision to retain the Argyle Pink Diamonds™ brand and maintain its position as a pre-eminent fancy coloured diamond specialist.
Sinead Kaufman said “We are extremely proud of the Argyle Pink Diamonds business and its legacy will continue as we retain and manage the brand through a proprietary Argyle pink diamonds trading platform, certification processes and creative collaborations with our trusted partners.”
In addition to owning the Argyle Pink Diamonds™ brand Rio Tinto is the majority owner and operator of the Diavik diamond mine in the Northwest Territories of Canada and has signed an exploration joint venture agreement with Endiama, the national diamond mining company of Angola, to evaluate the Chiri kimberlite in the Lunda Sul Province of Angola.