From birth to timeless legacy: The complete story of Argyle pink diamonds

By Arabella Roden

As the era of the Argyle Mine draws to a close, ARABELLA RODEN explores the compelling history and enduring legacy of the worldu2019s premier source of pink diamonds.

The colour pink is associated with many things u2013 beauty, love, and femininity, to name a few. And so too are pink diamonds, which in addition to their captivating colour, are also some of the rarest treasures on Earth.

There is no way to discuss the pink diamond category without the Argyle Mine. Discovered in 1979 and operational since the mid-1980s, the Rio Tinto owned-and-operated site u2013 located 550km southwest of Darwin, in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia u2013 produced 90 to 95 per cent of the worldu2019s pink and red diamonds before its closure in November 2020.

‘Flawless’ purple-pink diamond fetches record $29.3M at auction

Megan C. Hills, CNN + Oscar Holland, CNN

A 15.81-carat gem, dubbed “The Sakura,” fetched $29.3 million in Hong Kong to become the most expensive purple-pink diamond ever to sell at auction.

Named after the Japanese word for cherry blossom, it is the largest diamond of its kind to go under the hammer, according to Christie’s, the auction house behind the sale.

The stone, which is set on a simple platinum ring, has been classed as internally flawless, meaning that any blemishes are only visible under close magnification. It is also classified as “fancy vivid,” a measure of intense color achieved by only 4% of pink diamonds, the auctioneer said.

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Tender Aims to Develop Secondary Market for Argyle Pinks

By Rob Bates

A collection of rare Argyle pink diamonds will be sold in a public tender in June, in what may be a test of whether thereu2019s a secondary market for the gems.

Next month,, an Australian diamond technology startup, will offer for sale at least 10 pink gems from the Argyle mine.

The idea came about after Tim Goodman, Yourdiamondsu2019 founder and the former executive chairman of Sothebyu2019s Australia, was asked by an Australian company to sell a group of five Argyle pinks, ranging from 0.40 ct. to 1.01 cts. Those five stones alone are expected to fetch over $1 million.

Red End: Argyle Unveils Its Final Pink Tender

By Rob Bates

Rio Tinto has lifted the curtains on its final Argyle Pink Diamond Tender, which features a characteristically showstopping collection of pink, red, and blue diamonds from the now-shuttered Australian mine.

This 38th, and last, tender will comprise 70 diamonds weighing 81.63 cts. The yearu2019s biggest u201cherou201d stone is the 3.47 ct. Argyle Eclipse, which is the largest fancy intense pink diamond ever offered at an Argyle Tender.

Other hero gems include the Argyle Stella, a 1.79 ct. square radiant-shaped fancy vivid purplish pink diamond; the Argyle Lumiere, a 2.03 ct. square radiant-shaped fancy deep pink diamond; the Argyle Solaris, a 2.05 ct. radiant-shaped fancy intense pink diamond; and the Argyle Bohu00e8me, a 1.01 ct. radiant-shaped fancy red diamond.

How Argyle Changed The Diamond Industry

By Rob Bates

Last year, Australiau2019s Argyle diamond mine closed after 37 years of operation. This month, Melbourne University Publishing released Argyle: The Impossible Story of Australian Diamonds, a comprehensive history of the mine by Stuart Kells.

Here, Kells (pictured), a writer and adjunct professor at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, talks with JCK about the mineu2019s origins, why its impact is still felt today, and his favorite stories from its 37-year history.

JCK: A lot of diamond mines come about based on one personu2019s lone quest. Was that the case with Argyle?