Rio Tinto hosts one of the last tenders of Argyle diamonds

This week, Rio Tinto (ASX, LON: RIO) hosted its 2020 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, which was titled “One Lifetime, One Encounter,” as the event is believed to be one of the very last offerings of the iconic stones before the mine closes at the end of the year.

Due to covid-19 restrictions, the tender was held virtually with the participation of a select group of collectors, diamond connoisseurs and luxury jewellery houses.

In a press release, Rio said that the 2020 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender was a collection of the rarest diamonds from a year’s production from the Argyle mine in the remote east Kimberley region of Western Australia.

The Argyle mine is scheduled to close by the end of 2020 after almost four decades of production

The offering was headlined with Lot Number 1, the largest fancy vivid round brilliant diamond ever offered at the tender. Known as Argyle Eternity, the gem is a 2.24-carat fancy vivid purplish-pink diamond that is part of a historic collection comprising 62 diamonds weighing 57.23 carats.

“The Argyle pink diamond story has continued to enthral throughout the years following the remarkable discovery of the Argyle mine in 1979,” Patrick Coppens, general manager of sales and marketing for Rio Tinto’s diamonds business, said in the media brief. “The 2020 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender is a collection of rare earthly treasures, intricate works of art and with a potency of colour that will be keenly sought after by collectors and connoisseurs from around the world.”

Besides the Argyle Eternity, other six ‘hero’ diamonds such as the 2.45-carat, square Argyle Ethereal and the 2.84-carat, pear-shaped Argyle Sakura, were presented, together with 12 miniature rare Argyle pink, red, blue and violet diamonds weighing 13.90 carats in total and titled The Petite Suites.