ARGYLE PINK DIAMOND FETCHES OVER $2M IN AUSTRALIA BY OVERSEAS BUYER
Rio Tinto has sold a rare Argyle diamond for a record $2 million as overseas buyers snapped up dozens of precious stones in this year’s Pink Diamonds Tender.
The tender of 64 pink, red and blue diamonds set a string of records for Rio, including the highest price for a diamond from the Argyle mine in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
The Argyle Phoenix, a 1.56 carat Fancy Red diamond, fetched the highest per carat price for a diamond ever produced from the mine.
Bids broke through the $US2 million ceiling and there were a record number of bids above $US1 million for other single stones.
‘‘We are delighted with the results for the 2013 tender collection which are a reflection of their rarity, provenance and global reach,’’ Rio Tinto Diamonds managing director Jean-Marc Lieberherr said.
Many of the diamonds fetched prices above pre-tender estimates, reflecting increasing demand from the world’s top jewellers, designers, collectors and connoisseurs, he said.
All of the 64 diamonds in the 2013 Tender were sold.
‘‘Both established and emerging markets were well represented in the winning bids,’’ Rio said.
Argyle produces around 90 per cent of the world’s rare pink diamonds and is the world’s largest supplier of natural coloured diamonds.
In April Rio opened its new $2.2 billion underground diamond mine at Argyle amid predictions it will produce up to 20 million carats per year and extend the overall mine life until 2020.
In June the company took its global diamonds business off the market following a strategic review.