The Argyle Diamond mine is the world’s primary source of rare pink diamonds which attract on average, 20 times the price of an equivalent white diamond. Rio Tinto operates a stand-alone pink diamond business to sell and market loose polished pink diamonds from the Argyle mine.
The Argyle Pink Diamonds business has its headquarters in Perth, Western Australia, also the location of its state-of-the art cutting factory. The Perth factory cuts and polishes the finest pink diamonds from the Argyle mine that are then sold via an exclusive tender.
Beginning in 1984, the more exceptional polished pink diamonds from each year’s production have been sold individually at special auctions known as ’tenders’. Viewings have traditionally been held in New York, Tokyo, Perth, Antwerp, Hong Kong, London and Geneva. Participation in these events is by invitation to the worlds leading diamantaires and diamond jewellers.
The tendered pink diamonds have an average size of about 1 carat. Around 40 to 50 carats in total are sold at these auctions each year. Prices achieved range from US $100,000/ct to over US$1,000,000/ct.
To put the true rarity of these special ‘pink’ diamonds into perspective, of every million carats of rough diamonds produced at the mine, a mere one carat is suitable for sale in one of these tenders. Since 1985, more than 750 stones have been offered for sale at the tender at a total weight of almost 600 carats.