Bidding for diamonds in Rio Tinto’s 2019 annual Argyle pink diamond tender is likely to be fierce, given the Kimberley mine’s imminent closure.
Pinks comprise only a tiny fraction of the diamonds produced at Argyle yet the mine represents 90 per cent of the world’s production of the rare gems. At the end of next year when Argyle is set to close, that supply will disappear.
At the Kimberley mine this week for the official launch of the 2019 tender, Rio’s copper and diamonds boss Arnaud Soirat noted the price of the best Argyle pinks had already risen by 500 per cent in the past 20 years.
“Therefore when you think of the fundamental rules of supply and demand, they will kick in and it will have an impact on price,” he said.
Some investors are already scrambling to buy collections of pink to commemorate the mine or as a store of wealth.
The 2019 tender, which features the biggest and best pink stones from Argyle, is a collection of 64 cut diamonds weighing a collective 56.28 carats.
The tender will be shown in Perth, Hong Kong and New York. Bids close in October.