Fancy colored diamonds have always captured, well, peoples’ fancy! So when Rio Tinto announced that a large pink diamond was discovered at their Argyle mine in the East Kimberly Region of Western Australia, I could hear the collective sighs of delight.
Fancy diamonds include the colors red, blue, purple, yellow, brown and of course pink, with varying color grades of each. Now more than ever fancy colored diamonds are receiving attention. Collectors vie for ownership, museums delight in displaying such diamonds and famous celebrities choose the pink diamond as the ultimate engagement ring…
Auction house Sotheby’s, Geneva office, sold an emerald cut 24.78 carat fancy intense pink diamond in 2010 for more than $46 million dollars! In other words a whopping $1.86 million dollars per carat!
Currently some lucky collector will bid and win the largest round brilliant fancy intense pink diamond to ever appear at auction weighing in at 12.04 carats. It is expected to fetch $8-12 million USD. The diamond will be auctioned as part of Christie’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels sale in May.
The Smithsonian National Gem Collection boasts the DeYoung Fancy Pink pear shaped diamond weighing 2.86 carat. The American Museum of Natural History has an intense brilliant pink diamond ring in their diamond collection. Queen Elizabeth II received the 24 carat round brilliant Williamson Pink diamond as a wedding gift in 1947.
Celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, who received a 6 carat pink diamond engagement ring from Ben Affleck, and Mariah Carey, who received a 17 carat pink in her engagement ring, continue to popularize the pink diamond as the status choice when it comes to engagement jewelry.
At right: aerial photograph of the Argyle Diamond Mine in 2002, image courtesy of argylediamonds.com.au
Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine is the world’s largest producer of fancy pink diamonds. The Australian Rio Tinto mine produces more than 90 % of the world’s pink diamonds. The Argyle Pink Jubilee weighs 12.76 carats in the rough form. The news of the find was first tweeted by mining giant Rio Tinto.
In Perth Australia, after careful assessment, the diamond will be cut and polished by veteran diamond cutter Richard How Kim Kam. Mr. Kam said “I’m going to take it very carefully. I know the world will be watching”. The end weight result will be announced before the Tender. The manager of the Argyle Pink Diamond mine Josephine Johnson said “This rare diamond is generating incredible excitement. A diamond of this caliber is unprecedented—it has taken 26 years of Argyle production to unearth this stone and we may never see one like this again. The individual who gets to wear this remarkable pink diamond will be incredibly lucky indeed.”
When the diamond is cut it will then be graded by a panel of international experts. Of course the diamond will be showcased and then it will be sold at the Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender later this year. Argyle Pink Diamonds’ most rare diamonds are sold by annual invitation-only tender. The Tender allows an opportunity to bid on extraordinary diamonds that are not publicly available. The finest group of diamonds is presented at private showings all around the world. Prospective buyers then place their sealed bids. Each diamond carries a reserve price and upon the Tender deadline, the winning bidders are notified of their success in buying a diamond.
The Argyle Pink Jubilee at this years’ tender will represent an historical moment for Rio Tinto mines as well as a point of great pride. Can’t wait for the ‘reveal’!