Notes from the Field

New & Noteworthy Stories
July 30, 2017

Red Diamonds - Rarest of the Rare

This past Wednesday, Rio Tinto hosted an invitation only preview of its 2017 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender in New York. In the world of luxury goods, many unique items are described as ‘one of a kind.’ The featured item of this year’s annual Argyle Tender, suitably named ‘The Custodians of Rare Beauty,’ renders them all commonplace. A 2.11 carat radiant cut Fancy Red diamond with a VS2 clarity grade was unveiled, and it is surely one of the most ‘one of a kind’ items ever. This diamond has its own name, as many important gems and jewels do. The name is additionally trademarked, Argyle Everglow. ™ All the ‘hero’ stones, which are the diamonds of distinction in the lot, have trademarked names. The five hero diamonds of this year’s tender are:

- The Argyle Everglow™ - 2.11 carat radiant cut fancy red

- The Argyle Isla™ - 1.14 carat radiant cut fancy red 

- The Argyle Avaline™ - 2.42 carat cushion cut fancy purple-pink

- The Argyle Kalina™ - 1.50 carat oval brilliant cut fancy deep pink 

- The Argyle Liberté™ - 0.91 carat radiant cut fancy deep gray-violet

There are 58 total diamonds weighing 49.39 carats in this year’s tender. The Everglow was not the only red, as three others received the fancy red color grade. There were also four which graded as purplish red, two violets, one blue, and the balance were pinks.

The Argyle Mine is located in a remote corner of Western Australia, and produces approximately 90% of the worlds pink diamonds. The Argyle Everglow™ is the largest red diamond ever unearthed at Argyle, and increases the total to only 20 carats of red diamonds ever offered in 33 years of hosting the Argyle Pink Diamond Tender.

Natural fancy colored diamonds are exceedingly rare, and the cause of their color is simply a wonder of nature. Some colors are caused by impurity elements mixed into the carbon-based crystal structure. For instance, nitrogen impurities produce yellow colors, and boron impurities produce blue colors. Green diamonds are colored by exposure to natural radiation. With pink and red diamonds, the color is the result of a deformation in its atomic structure because of temperature and pressure.

The largest red diamond in the world is the Moussaieff Red, which is a 5.11 carat triangular brilliant cut discovered in Brazil. It was purchased in 2001 for $8 million and today would have sold for much more. It is considered among the most important fancy colored diamonds known to exist, and no doubt that the Argyle Everglow™ will join that conversation. As the price of fancy colored diamonds continues to rise in value and break new records at auction, the future of new production is simultaneously uncertain. With the planned closing of the Argyle mine in 2021, that uncertainly is quite certain.

The Argyle diamonds will now travel to Hong Kong and other select cities before returning to Australia. Bids close October 11th. Good luck!

Written by

Bryan Aderhold

Bryan Aderhold has pursued every aspect of the gemstone and jewelry industry for the last 15 years taking him to the far reaches of the globe to locate the finest gems and foster relationships with the industry's top players. Whether its procuring gemstones at their source or bringing someone the jewelry of their dreams, Bryan has an unmatched passion for gems and his customers.