The closure of the Argyle Mine in November of 2020 brought the end of an era, and with it came the end of the famous Argyle Tender.
In May of 2021, Rio Tinto announced that the final Argyle Tender, named “The Journey Beyond” will be held in September. The diamonds that will be featured will potentially be some of the greatest and most valuable diamonds to date, not just because of their color, clarity, or size, but because they will symbolize a piece of mining history. Diamonds that will no longer be possible to find anywhere on the planet.
Having said that, let’s take a look at the following topics:
- What Is the Argyle Tender?
- How Did the Argyle Tender Begin?
- How Do You Participate in an Argyle Tender?
- Which Diamonds Will be Featured in the Last Argyle Tender?
- Projecting What Might Happen Next
What Is the Argyle Tender?
The Argyle Tender is an annual, private auction that showcases the absolute best diamonds produced by the Argyle Mine. The selection of diamonds is very limited, presenting hand-picked stones of the highest clarity, color saturation, and overall quality from the mine during that year.
How Did the Argyle Tender Begin?
The first Argyle Tender was held in Antwerp, Belgium in 1984. As the Tender started growing in popularity, it became common for previews to be held throughout the world, including cultural and financial hot spots such as Hong Kong, London, New York, Geneva, Tokyo, and Perth. Each tender showcases a unique number of diamonds, ranging from 35 to 70 colored stones. The majority of the diamonds showcased are pink, red, or purple and always include a select handful of “featured” stones.
How Do You Participate in an Argyle Tender?
A prestigious event of this caliber is, unfortunately for many, by invitation only. Each year, the Tender invites a select number of 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. In 2021, the Tender will travel from Perth in Western Australia to Sydney, Singapore, and Antwerp before bids close on September 1.
Which Diamonds Will be Featured in the Last Argyle Tender?
The final Argyle Tender will be comprised of 70 colored diamonds weighing a collective 81.63 carats. The five hero diamonds that will be headlining this year’s Tender are:
- The Argyle Eclipse: A 3.47 carat, radiant cut, fancy intense pink. This will be the largest fancy intense pink diamond ever to be offered in the Tender’s history.
- The Argyle Stella: A 1.79 carat, square cut, fancy vivid purplish pink diamond.
- The Argyle Lumier: A 2.03 carat, square radiant cut, fancy deep pink diamond.
- The Argyle Solaris: A 2.05 carat, radiant cut, fancy intense pink diamond.
- The Argyle Boheme: A 1.01 carat, radiant cut, fancy red diamond.
Pink and red diamonds are not the only stars of the show though. There is a total of 24.88 carats (41 Lots) of blue diamonds that make up a collection called “Once in a Blue Moon.” Adequately titled, these blue and violet colored diamonds will be the last ever to be seen from the Argyle Mine.
What Will the Value of the Final Argyle Tender’s Diamonds Be?
Most auction results are private, however, we can use past auction reports to speculate where the last Argyle Tender will be in terms of overall value.
In the past 6 years alone, each argyle tender has exceeded the last by a significant margin. 2016’s Tender surpassed 2015’s by 25%-30%, 2018’s Tender blew 2017 out of the park with a massive 400% diamond appreciation, and 2019 has also been reported to have been more lucrative than 2018. All in all, Tender prices have experienced a 500% rise from 2000 to this year.
Seeing that this is the last Tender ever, demand being at an all-time high, and Argyle diamonds now finite, it is expected that this year’s Tender might actually be the highest valued ever.
Projecting What Might Happen Next
With the mine now closed, and the final Argyle Tender right around the corner, the already rare Argyle diamonds will become even rarer. Argyle diamonds are now finite in the market, so it’s important to understand the impact rarity will have on the value of these diamonds.
After September 2021, the only way to get an Argyle diamond will be from the secondary market, and seeing the massive appreciation these diamonds have been experiencing, it might even be some time until we see them in another auction, public or private.
What are your thoughts on “The Journey Beyond” Argyle Tender? What might come next for the colored diamond market? Let us know in the comments below.
For more reading on colored diamonds, see the links below: