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Once in a Blue Moon

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The very last diamonds from the Argyle mine


Rio Tinto has unveiled a preview of its final showcase of rare Argyle pink, red and blue diamonds from its iconic mine in the remote east Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Mining ceased at Argyle on 3 November, 2020 and the 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender is the final collection of the rarest diamonds from the final year of Argyle operations.

The Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, an annual invitation-only event for the past 38 years, is widely considered to be the most anticipated diamond sale in the world, showcasing the pinnacle of Argyle’s production to an exclusive group of collectors, diamond connoisseurs and luxury jewellery houses.

Chief executive of Rio Tinto Minerals, Sinead Kaufman said the historic collection of extraordinary diamonds was a testament to the amazing Argyle ore body and the men and women who have worked so hard to bring these diamonds to market.”

Comprising 70 diamonds weighing 81.63 carats, the 2021 Argyle pink diamonds tender has a record number of diamonds larger than one carat. The collection is headlined the Argyle Eclipse, a 3.47 carat diamond that is the largest Fancy Intense Pink diamond ever offered at the Tender.

Patrick Coppens, general manager of sales and marketing for Rio Tinto’s diamonds business who has been involved throughout the history of the Argyle pink diamonds tender said “The Argyle pink diamond story has continued to enthral throughout the years following the remarkable discovery of the Argyle mine in 1979. The final Tender collection of these beyond rare diamonds will be keenly sought after as heritage gemstones of the future, coveted by collectors and connoisseurs from around the world.”

Titled The Journey Beyond, the collection takes its reference from the 1.5 billion year journey from creation to discovery and their remarkable impact on the world diamond and jewellery history. The Tender collection comprises five ‘hero’ diamonds selected for their unique beauty and named to ensure there is a permanent record of their contribution to the history of the world’s most important diamonds:
Argyle Eclipse, 3.47 carat, radiant shaped Fancy Intense Pink diamond
Argyle Stella, 1.79 carat, square radiant shaped Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink diamond
Argyle Lumiere, 2.03 carat, square radiant shaped Fancy Deep Pink diamond
Argyle Solaris, 2.05 carat, radiant shaped Fancy Intense Pink diamond
Argyle Bohème, 1.01 carat, radiant shaped Fancy Red diamond

Also offered alongside the Tender are 41 lots of carefully curated Argyle blue diamonds, weighing 24.88 carats in total. Titled Once in a Blue Moon, these are the very last blue and violet diamonds to emerge from the Argyle mine.

Jewellery historian Vivienne Becker said, “this final epoch making offering of pink, red and blue diamonds encapsulates the nearimpossible rarity and compelling beauty of the natural treasures gifted to the world by the east Kimberley region of Western Australia. Over the near four decade life span of the Argyle mine, Rio Tinto has built a unique diamond brand of integrity and authenticity, an Australian icon and source of national pride, now recognised and asked for, by name, across the globe.”

The 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender will be showcased in Perth, Antwerp, Singapore and Sydney, subject to COVID-19 protocols. Bids close on September 1, 2021.