The Argyle Mine is the largest diamond producer in the world if sorted by volume. It supplies over 90% of the world’s pink and red diamonds. Known for finding colored diamonds in all shapes and forms, this remote Western Australia mine is recognized throughout the world. Typically on average, colored diamonds cost 50 times more than colorless diamonds. In 2015, the Argyle Mine found another genuine diamond in the rough.
On May 3, 2016, Rio Tinto (who owns the Argyle Mine) revealed the largest natural violet diamond they’ve ever found, The Argyle Violet. The Argyle Violet is a 2.83-carat diamond with a polished oval shaped cut. As of now, Rio Tinto has announced that this stone will be the centerpiece of the 2016 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, an annual showcase that exhibits the rarest diamonds found at the Argyle Mine.
The Argyle Violet was found in 2015 and revealed to the world in May of 2016. The diamond was polished from a 9.17-carat rough diamond to just a 2.83-carat oval shaped diamond. Typical loss after polishing ranges from 40%-60%, but the Argyle Violet had polished 69% of rough stone. This level of polishing was necessary to expose the true beauty of the stone.
Colored diamonds are rare as is, however violet diamonds are one of the most exclusive colored diamonds there are. In the past 30+ years, the Argyle Mine has produced only 12 carats of polished violet diamonds for their annual showcase. This means that the Argyle Violet accounts for 23.6% of the violet diamonds ever recovered from the Argyle Mine, while the preceeding 31 years produced the rest!
Patrick Coppens, the general manager of Rio Tinto Diamonds says, “Impossibly rare and limited by nature, the Argyle Violet will be highly sought after for its beauty, size, and provenance.” Josephine Johnson, the Argyle Pink Diamonds manager adds, “This stunning violet diamond will capture the imagination of the world’s leading collectors and connoisseurs."
Rio Tinto’s private viewings commenced in the summer of 2016 in Copenhagen, Hong Kong, and New York. Although no value has been set for the beautiful stone, many diamond media outlets predict the stone will seek between $1 million - $2 million per carat.
For more reading on famous diamonds, see the links below:
- The De Beers Millennium Jewel 4
- The Star of the South Pink Diamond
- The Wittelsbach-Graff Blue Diamond