io Tinto Diamonds closed its Argyle pink diamond tender this past week, reporting strong Asian demand and continued price appreciation for the rare gems.
”The collection was keenly contested by investors, collectors and luxury jewelers, with the final results demonstrating significant global reach and continued strong price appreciation,” said Jean-Marc Lieberherr, Rio Tinto’s general manager for diamond sales and marketing. ”In short, the world has developed a real passion for these natural treasures.”
The collection of 55 stones mined at the Argyle mine in Australia were cut and polished in-house by Rio Tinto’s polishers in Western Australia. The collection included a record 11 heart-shaped stones, which generated strong interest, particularly from Australian and Asian bidders, according to Josephine Archer, the manager of Argyle Pink Diamonds.
The largest heart-shaped stone in the collection, a 1.31-carat fancy intense pink diamond, was sold to an unnamed buyer in China, where Archer explained Rio Tinto is investing to raise awareness and understanding about the market.
Rio Tinto reported that bidders in Japan found considerable success in the tender, including the acquisition of the Argyle Alanya, an oval-shaped, 1.06-carat, fancy vivid purplish-pink diamond. ”Japan remains the largest consumer market for pink diamonds, with all shades of pink diamonds in strong demand by Japanese jewelry designers,” the company noted.