Naturally Colored Diamond Blog

Famous Purple Diamonds: The Argyle Violet

Posted by Tony Cathaway on 9/19/17 9:10 AM

The Argyle Mine is known for finding colored diamonds in all shapes and forms.  It supplies over 90% of the world’s pink and red diamonds. Yet, it also yields unique stones like the Argyle Violet too.

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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. This diamond is a 2.83-carat diamond with a polished oval shaped cut. This beautiful stone was the centerpiece of the 2016 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, an annual showcase that exhibits the most rare 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.

Purple 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 preceding 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."

The Chroma Collection

Each year, the Argyle mine holds their annual tender which contains the best of the top colored diamonds. In 2016, it was known as the Chroma Collection.  This collection consisted of 63 rare pink, red, and violet colored diamonds. The Argyle Violet was part of this collection.  In November of 2016, the New York based company; L.J. West Diamonds placed the winning bid for the Argyle Violet. 

The price of the winning bid never became public, which is a common as investors appreciate their privacy. However, diamond experts believe the Argyle Violet is worth between $1 million to $2 million per carat, with a final price somewhere between $2.8 million to $5.6 million.


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Topics: The Annual Tender

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