World's Most Precious Pink Diamonds Go on Sale

Rio Tinto Plc
2007-09-22 01:37 1046

-- Vintage Year Produces Most Vivid Collection of Celebrities' Favourite Diamonds

ARGYLE, Scotland, Sept. 22 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ --

Diamond experts and high society figures across the globe are preparing for the 23rd annual Rio Tinto Diamonds Argyle Pink Diamond Tender held in Perth (September 11-14th 2007), Hong Kong (September 18th - 28th 2007) and New York (October 1st - 12th 2007).

The world's most exclusive diamond sale will feature 65 of the world's rarest pink diamonds from the Argyle mine in Australia - the world's main source of pink diamonds with an unparalleled depth of colour and quality.

This year's Tender promises to be one of the most exciting to date, with the Argyle Signature Stones possessing deeper and more vivid colour intensity than previously seen in the Tenders. Spectacular purplish reds, as well as stunning deep pinks and a rare grey-violet diamond are included.

Excitement around the Pink Diamond Tender is understandable. Since the first pink diamonds were recovered from the mine in 1985, demand for these exceptional gems has attracted a cadre of elite and discrete buyers. The pink diamond jewellery market is now worth hundreds of millions of dollars as the desire to own the rarest has sent prices skyrocketing.

It is not unusual for pink diamonds to fetch more than US$400,000 per carat. However, the sky is the limit when it comes to Rio Tinto Diamonds' exclusive Signature Stones - each diamond is so unique that it warrants an individual price tag.

To put the rarity of the Argyle Signature Stones into perspective, Rio Tinto's Argyle mine produces on average 30 million carats of rough diamonds a year. From this annual production only about 8,000 to 10,000 carats of polished pink diamonds are produced, of these a mere 65 carats are deemed suitable for the Pink Diamond Tender.

Pink diamonds from the Argyle mine are dated at approximately 1.6 billion years old, but are predicted to run out by 2018. This forecast has enhanced their exclusivity and image as a key investment option.

Despite demand, attendance to the Tender is restricted to approximately one hundred key clientele from around the world who personally view the diamonds in a secret location in Hong Kong, New York or Perth. Due to the high security required for the Tender, the exact location is not revealed to bidders until the very last minute. Bids are confidential and the names of successful bidders and the values achieved are not disclosed. Those that are successful will be notified personally in October.

Bidders expect only the best at Rio Tinto Diamonds' Argyle Pink Tenders and that is exactly what they will get in the 2007 Pink Tender. Commenting on the 2007 Tender, Jean-Marc Lieberherr, General Manager Marketing, Rio Tinto Diamonds said, "What you see in the Pink Tender are some of the rarest and most valuable gems in the world. Each Argyle Signature Stone is unique and exquisite; if it doesn't have that 'wow' factor, it doesn't make it into the collection."

"As far as pink diamonds are concerned, it's not about size and clarity as it is for white diamonds: colour intensity is what matters. The darker they are the more expensive they are, with the rare deep red the ultimate prize. This year, the 65 Argyle Signature Stones we have selected are deeper and more vivid than in previous years, this is an exciting and valuable collection."

Source: Rio Tinto Plc
Keywords: Fashion