It has been without a doubt, the most successful tender in its history. Argyle Diamonds owner Rio Tinto announced that record prices have been reached for its 2016 Tender, in its history.
I am not surprised, as previously reported, that argyle will break records agin, and this is due to the magnificent and unique collection this year. We know that at least half of the collection has been acquired by American Collectors and dealers, of which L.J. West Diamonds Inc. has acquired the top lot, the 2.83 carat, “Argyle Violet”. The company plans to display it “at the diamonds: Rare Brilliance Exhibition”, at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles by the end of the year.
The 2.83 carat Argyle Violet acquired by L.J. West Diamonds Inc., New York Image Credit: Rio Tinto
Approximately half of the tender ( 63 diamonds in all), have been acquired by U.S based entities, while around 11-12 Tender diamonds have been acquired by Asian parties. Leibish & Co. out of Tel Aviv has been awarded the single IF (Internally Flawless) clarity Diamond in the tender, #63. In all of its 32 year Tender History only 2 other IF Diamonds have ever been offered. Both have been offered in the 1980’s, over 25 years ago.
The 0.71 carat, Fancy Intense Pink, Lot #63 won by Leibish & Co., Tel Aviv Image Credit: Leibish & Co.
Between 2000 and 2015 Tender Years, Rio Tinto claims that the average price paid for their Tender stones have tripled. After speaking to some of the winning bidders of the 2016 Tender, prices bid were in the 25-30% above last year bids, making this year’s increase in value superior to prior years. Let’s take into account that this tender is also, noticeably better than any previous Tender. It is worth noting that this year’s Tender is the first tender containing only underground material.
The 2016 Argyle Tender “Chroma Collection” Image Credit: Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto has been bringing in experts on the ground at the mine in Australia so that they can properly plan its closure in as little as 5 years from now. Some of the staff has already been looking for new positions elsewhere, post closure.
The Argyle Mine in Australia, due to close within 5 years Image Credit: Rio Tinto
Senior members of the Argyle Diamonds have said that future Tender Diamonds may not be of equal beauty and quality with those showcased this year, but remain optimistic and excited.