An invitation to view $60 million of pink diamond jewelry over lunch is even more enticing than the prospect of a chocolate dessert. Those of us lucky enough to be invited to the event were promised that the world’s rarest pink, red and violet diamonds would be unveiled alongside an exhibition of exceptional jewelry featuring diamonds from Australia’s Argyle mine.
Mining firm Rio Tinto hosted the event to showcase some of the stones in the upcoming 2017 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender. And they kept their promise. Inside a light filled penthouse in the Chelsea district of Manhattan some of the most extraordinary and expensive diamonds ever discovered were at their sparkling best.
The Red Winter Flower brooch showcases six Argyle red diamonds with a total weight of 2.15 carats, with 48 white diamonds weighing a total of 9.42 carats. By L.J. West Diamonds
The Argyle mine located deep in the outback of the northwestern region of Australia, is known for producing diamonds in colors that range mostly from champagne to cognac. But each year a handful of pink diamonds are uncovered and very occasionally a red, blue or violet diamond will show itself.
Formed in the earth over a billion years ago these spectacular gems are unique to the Argyle mine. Only one tenth of one percent of all the diamonds unearthed from the mine are pink. Very occasionally a red diamond appears and even more rarely violet diamonds. To put this in perspective, pink diamonds are so rare that an entire year’s worth of Argyle pink diamonds over a half carat would fit in the palm of your hand. Even more rare, the number of red, blue and violet diamonds found can be counted on the fingers of one hand. While diamonds from the Argyle mine tend to be under two carats in size, they pack a powerful punch when it comes to color.
Over the course of a year the finest Argyle pink diamonds are collected, then cut and polished by highly skilled artisans in Perth, Western Australia. The diamonds are then presented in private viewings in New York, Hong Kong and Perth to a very select group of about 150 collectors and dealers globally. The buyers purchase the stones through a sealed bid tender.
While pink, red, blue or violet diamonds can sell somewhere in the range of $1 million to $2 million or more per carat at major auction houses the Rio Tinto powers that be keep their lips firmly zipped about the prices that these stunning gems garner at their tender.