01 Feb 2017

Rio Tinto’s 2016 Pink Diamonds Tender Achieves Record Result

Rio Tinto’s 2016 Pink Diamonds Tender achieved a record result, that of the highest average price per carat since the Tender began in 1984 with prices estimated to have increased by 25–30% across the board.

Image Credit: Copyright © 2017 Rio Tinto

The 2016 Argyle Pink Diamond Tender closed in late October and the results were very positive for coloured diamond investors.

According to Rio Tinto, the Tender achieved the highest average price per carat since the Tender began in 1984, with prices estimated to have increased by 25–30% across the board. This is great result which we believe leads the way for all good quality Argyle Pink Diamonds to continue to appreciate in value.

Known as ‘The Chroma Collection’, the 2016 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender comprised the highest quality, size and colour composition in the Tender’s 32-year history and was highly sought after. The 2016 Tender was also the first to comprise of diamonds unearthed solely from Argyle’s underground mine.

In terms of global distribution, winning bids came from 10 countries including a strong representation from the sophisticated US collector market. While in 2015 the Chinese bought up big, but this year they were not a major player. Japanese buyers were very strong, taking around 16 stones. There was a spread of smaller buyers from London, Israel and Australia and Asian based marketers who also picked up around 12 stones, but the bulk of the collection went to the US.

The big story was the ‘hero’ stones, the featured top lots of Tender. Bidders who felt they had bid very high on a hero stone were disappointed, going home empty handed. This bodes well for anyone who has been successful and for anyone who currently holds an Argyle Tender Diamond.

Rio Tinto Diamonds general manager of sales Patrick Coppens said “We are delighted with the results of this year’s historic collection. Argyle’s pink, red and violet Tender diamonds are in a class of their own in terms of rarity, beauty and provenance. These natural coloured diamonds are truly beyond rare.”

The centrepiece of the collection, the 2.83-carat Argyle Violet, is the largest and most valuable violet diamond recovered to date from the Argyle mine. It was secured by US based coloured diamond specialist, L.J. West Diamonds Inc, which plans to showcase the historic diamond at the Diamonds: Rare Brilliance exhibition at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in December 2016. President of L.J. West Diamonds Inc Larry West said “The Argyle Violet is an incomparable diamond that forms an important addition to our Art of Nature collection of rare gems. It is a truly unique treasure that we are proud to be exhibiting as one of the finest examples of a historic fancy colour diamond.”

Over the past 15 years the value of Argyle pink diamonds sold at Tender have appreciated over 300 per cent. Argyle Pink Diamonds manager Josephine Johnson said “The market fundamentals for pink diamonds – strong demand as a result of extremely limited supply – continue to support their significant value appreciation.“

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