Naturally Colored Diamond Blog

A Look Back: The Argyle Pink Diamond Tender

Posted by Tony Cathaway on 10/7/16 8:03 AM

The Rio Tinto Argyle Pink Diamond Tender is one of the most exclusive events in the diamond world. The annual tender began more than 30 years ago and has auctioned off hundreds of diamonds throughout the years. Each year, the tender invites a select number of lucky attendees who have the means and the interest to invest in these precious gems. Many of the attendees are diamond dealers, while a select few are high-net worth investors. The Tender has previews throughout the world, generally for about a month before bidding closes. Let’s take a look back at some of the most famous diamonds that have been offered over the years at the tender.  


The first Rio Tinto Argyle Diamond Tender was help in Antwerp, Belgium in 1984. As the Tender’s popularity has risen, it has become common for previews to be held throughout the world, including hot spots like Hong Kong, London, New York, Geneva, Tokyo, and Perth. Each tender showcases a unique number of diamonds, generally ranging from 35 to 70 colored diamonds. The majority of the diamonds showcased are pink, red, or purple and always include a select handful of “featured” stones. 

In 2014, 54 pink and red diamonds were featured at the Rio Tinto Pink Diamond Tender. Of these 54, 3 diamonds were selected to be showcased during the tender. The Argyle Cardinal is a Fancy Red Diamond that weighed in at 1.21 carats. It was estimated to sell for more than $2 million and was purchased for an undisclosed amount by Glenn Bakker Jewels. The Argyle Rosette is a purple-pink emerald cut diamond that weighed in at 2.17 carats and was sold to an anonymous buyer for an undisclosed amount. The Argyle Toki was also an emerald cut purple-pink diamond that weighed in at 1.59 carats. Like the Rosette, the Toki was won by an unknown buyer for an anonymous sum.

The 2015 Tender was debuted at the Sydney Opera House and featured 65 diamonds that totaled more than 44.14 carats. Five “hero diamonds” were selected from the group, including three reds, a pink, and a purplish pink stone. The diamonds featured included the Argyle Allegro, a fancy red radiant cut 0.79 carat diamond; The Argyle Aurora, an oval cut fancy red 1.7 carat diamond; The Argyle Élevé, a fancy intense pink emerald cut diamond that weighs 1.44 carats; the Argyle Prima, a 1.20 carat fancy red pear cut diamond; and The Argyle Spectre, a 1.93 carat shield cut fancy vivid purplish pink diamond. None of the sales prices were revealed for the diamonds, but it is known that The Argyle Prima sold for the highest price to the Sciens Coloured Diamond Fund II BV.

2016’s Tender featured a total of 63 stones, of which 57 were pink, 4 were red, and 2 were violet. Bidding for the 2016 closes on October 12th. The 2016 Tender showcased five special diamonds, including The Argyle Violet, an oval shaped violet 2.83 carat diamond; The Argyle Ultra, a pear shaped violet diamond that weighs 1.11 carats; The Argyle Viva, a purplish pink pear shaped 1.2 carat diamond; The Argyle Thea, a vivid purplish pink radiant cut 2.24 carat diamond; and The Argyle Aria, an oval shaped fancy red 1.09 carat diamond. While it is unlikely that any specific sales information will be released, diamond investors and enthusiasts will certainly be anxious to see the results of the 2016 Rio Tinto Argyle Diamond Tender. Check back for updates on who will be lucky enough to own one of these fantastic stones.

For more reading on pink and colored diamonds and auctions, see the links below: 

Naturally Colored Diamonds

Topics: The Annual Tender


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