Three certified fancy red diamonds — the pinnacle of rarity, color and value in the diamond world — will headline Rio Tinto’s annual Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, an exclusive sale of the mining company’s finest production.
Rio Tinto’s announcement took the gem world by surprise because natural fancy red diamonds are very rarely seen.
"Since mining began in 1983, only six diamonds certified as fancy red by the Gemological Institute of America have been presented for sale at the annual tender,” said Argyle Pink Diamonds manager Josephine Johnson. “To have three of these rare red diamonds in one tender is a very special moment in time."
The highly coveted red diamonds are expected to fetch between $1 million and $2 million per carat when they are offered for sale on October 8.
Argyle Phoenix™ is the largest of the three red diamonds, a 1.56-carat round gem named in honor of the newly commissioned Argyle underground mine in Western Australia.
This year’s Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender of three reds, 58 pinks and three blues, is now on tour. After previews in Sydney, New York and Tokyo, tender viewings will move to Hong Kong and Perth, where bidders will be able to view the gems and make offers for individual stones.
Unlike other colored diamonds – such as blue diamonds that get their color from the addition of boron in their chemical composition, or green diamonds that are impacted by natural radiation – red diamonds are not colored by impurities. Rather, their color is the result of minute defects in the crystal lattice.