Major miner Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO,LSE:RIO,NYSE:RIO) unveiled the largest red diamond in the history of its Argyle tender in New York last week.
The 2.11-carat “Argyle Everglow” is part of the 2017 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, an annual showcase of the top-quality pink diamonds that have emerged from Rio Tinto’s Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia.
“The Argyle Everglow represents rarity within rarity, and will drive global demand from collectors and connoisseurs in search of the incomparable,” said Josephine Johnson, manager of Argyle Pink Diamonds.
The Gemological Institute of America has assessed the diamond with a grade of Fancy Red VS2. This type of gem could sell for millions as large, vivid fancy color diamonds are extremely rare and very valuable.
In fact, the record auction price for a fancy red diamond is $5 million, paid in 2014 in Hong Kong for a heart-shaped 2.09-carat stone.
“We are delighted to announce this historic diamond at our Tender preview, a testament to the unique Argyle ore-body that continues to produce the world’s rarest gems,” Rio Tinto Copper and Diamonds Chief Executive Arnaud Soirat said.
The Argyle mine produces 90 percent of the world’s rare pink diamonds, and is set to close by 2021. According to the company, in the 33-year history of the Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender less than 20 carats of fancy red certified diamonds have been sold.
“It is unlikely that a diamond as rare as this will come out of the mine again,” said Robyn Ellison, communications manager for Rio Tinto.
This year’s tender edition, called “Custodians of Rare Beauty,” is comprised of 58 stones totaling 49.39 carats. It includes four fancy red diamonds, four purplish-red diamonds, two violet diamonds and one blue diamond.
The gems will be on display in New York, Hong Kong and Perth, with bids closing on October 11.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.