Rio Tinto’s 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender collection of 70 rare pink and red diamonds from its now closed Argyle mine in Australia garnered 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.
With 19 bidders from nine countries, the Argyle Eclipse, a 3.47-carat (ct), radiant-shaped pink diamond was won by Australian jeweler Calleija.
“It is an extraordinary opportunity and a privilege to be part of this historic collection,” jeweler, John Calleija, said. “We are humbled to be the custodians of these uniquely Australian jewels and are delighted to be part of their enduring legacy.”
Almost the entire world’s supply of rare pink, red and violet diamonds come from Rio Tinto’s Argyle diamond mine.
In another tender, dubbed the Once in a Blue Moon, Rio Tinto sold a collection of 41 lots of carefully curated Argyle blue and violet diamonds to a single bidder, the Hong Kong fancy colored diamond specialist, Kunming Diamonds.
Kunming Diamonds’ history-making global bid for the 24.88 carats of final “beyond rare” blue jewels from the East Kimberley region of Western Australia is a significant moment in the history of the Argyle mine and the colored diamond industry.
“We are delighted to be part of Argyle’s legacy in this historical moment, acquiring the Once in a Blue Moon collection,” Kunming Diamonds said. “We cherish becoming the custodians of the final Australian treasures from this iconic and industry-defining mine and look forward to unearthing the incredible possibilities in the years to come.”
The Argyle mine sporadically produced small blue and violet diamonds in a beautiful array of shades and with the closure of Argyle it is extremely unlikely that there will ever be another collective offering of iconic gems in this color spectrum from a single mine.