Photo credit: Rio Tinto

‘One Lifetime, One Encounter’ auction honors Argyle mine closure

The Argyle Diamond Mine in the remote east Kimberley region of Western Australia is scheduled to close by the end of 2020 following nearly forty years of production.

“One Lifetime, One Encounter” is an auction event, offering a collection of the rarest diamonds extracted there over a year’s production.

A traveling tender

Adjusting to restrictions caused by COVID-19, the auction began with a virtual preview, arranged for a select group of collectors, connoisseurs and jewelry houses. A series of live viewings will follow, starting at the Argyle Mine and in Perth, Australia, then traveling to Singapore and Antwerp, Belgium. Bids will close on December 2, 2020.

An enthralling story

The 2.24 carat Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink diamond known as Argyle Eternity™ is part of the historic collection, comprising 62 diamonds weighing 57.23 carats. Patrick Coppens, general manager of sales and marketing for Rio Tinto’s diamonds business, observed:

The Argyle pink diamond story has continued to enthral throughout the years following the remarkable discovery of the Argyle mine in 1979. The 2020 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender is a collection of rare earthly treasures, intricate works of art and with a potency of color that will be keenly sought after by collectors and connoisseurs from around the world.

Lots for sale

  • Lot 1: Argyle Eternity™, 2.24 carat round brilliant Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink diamond
  • Lot 2: Argyle Ethereal™, 2.45 carat square radiant shaped Fancy Intense Purple-Pink diamond
  • Lot 3: Argyle Sakura™, 1.84 carat pear shaped Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink diamond
  • Lot 4: Argyle Emrys™, 0.43 carat princess shaped Fancy Deep Grayish Violetish Blue diamond
  • Lot 5: Argyle Skylar™, 0.33 carat heart shaped Fancy Dark Gray-Violet diamond
  • Lot 6: Argyle Infinité™, 0.70 carat oval shaped Fancy Dark Violet-Gray diamond

In addition to the six “Hero Diamonds” named above, Rio Tinto’s news release informs us there are 12 additional lots of carefully curated, “never to be repeated” sets of miniature rare Argyle pink, red, blue and violet diamonds to be offered. Titled The Petite Suites, these collectible diamonds have been meticulously collected over a five year period, striking a harmonious balance between size, shape, color and clarity. One such lot, named “Zenith,” is pictured here.

Photo credit: Rio Tinto

A glorious lifetime

The Argyle Mine is one of the greatest diamond mines in history. Not simply the majority supplier of the world’s most saturated, high quality pink diamonds, the mine is geologically one of a kind, ensconcing her precious gems in lamproite.

Photo credit: Sydney Morning Herald
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Angi Butler

Angi's first career was in diamond, gemstone and fashion jewelry sales. Now a corporate executive, she shares her advice and opinions on these pages.

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