All 41 lots of carefully curated blue and violet diamonds from the recently shuttered Argyle mine were purchased by a single bidder at Rio Tinto's "Once in a Blue Moon" tender.
Hong Kong fancy-colored diamond specialist Kunming Diamonds scooped up the complete collection, which represents the very last blue and violet diamonds to emerge from the Argyle mine.
Rio Tinto stated that Kunming Diamonds’ history-making global bid for the 24.88 carats of final “beyond rare” blue jewels from the East Kimberley region of Western Australia is a significant moment in the history of the Argyle mine and the colored-diamond industry.
"We are delighted to be part of Argyle's legacy in this historical moment, acquiring the Once in a Blue Moon collection," noted Harsh Maheshwari, Executive Director of Kunming Diamonds. "We cherish becoming the custodians of the final Australian treasures from this iconic and industry-defining mine, and look forward to unearthing the incredible possibilities in the years to come."
Throughout its 37-year history, the Argyle mine sporadically produced small blue and violet diamonds in a beautiful array of shades. With the closure of Argyle on November 3, 2020, it is extremely unlikely that there will ever be another collective offering of iconic gems in this color spectrum from a single mine.
Even though Argyle mine is closed, Rio Tinto will maintain and manage the Argyle Pink Diamonds™ brand through secondary market platforms, certification processes and creative collaborations with its trusted partners.
In addition to owning the Argyle Pink Diamonds™ brand, Rio Tinto is the majority owner and operator of the Diavik diamond mine in the Northwest Territories of Canada and has signed an exploration joint venture agreement with Endiama, the national diamond mining company of Angola, to evaluate the Chiri kimberlite in that country's Lunda Sul Province.
Credits: Images courtesy of Rio Tinto.