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Rio Tinto announces winning bids for its iconic red, pink and blue diamonds

22 October 2012

Rio Tinto's 2012 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, the most exclusive diamond sale in the world, has demonstrated strong global appeal and delivered an exceptional result for its iconic gems.

Bids for this year's Tender collection of 56 single pink diamonds, including two red diamonds and an additional 19 lots of blue diamonds from Rio Tinto's Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia, closed on October 15th. The collection was keenly contested with the final results demonstrating continued strong price appreciation.

Successful bidders for the 2012 Tender collection were from both established and emerging markets. According to the Manager for Argyle Pink Diamonds,

"We were delighted to see such a strong appetite for this unique “rainbow collection”. Several beautiful diamonds from the collection have a new home in India, an important emerging market for rare pink diamonds, and the heroblue diamond, Argyle ElektraTM, is destined for Japan, the most established market for pink diamonds. Across all other markets, including their Australian birthplace, there was strong evidence of the Argyle pink diamond's compelling combination of rich provenance, exceptional craftsmanship, and natural beauty.

Argyle Pink Diamonds’ largest Asia Pacific partner was the successful bidder of the most valuable diamond from the collection, Argyle SirenTM, a 1.32 carat square radiant cut Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink diamond. Commenting on his newest acquisition, he said,

“I was thrilled to receive the news. This is a rare diamond from a rare collection, incomparable from the perspective of a connoisseur and I look forward to designing an heirloom piece of jewellery to honour its heritage.”

Many of the successful bidders were part of the exhibition at Kensington Palace on October 9th, where more than US$65 million of one-of-a-kind pink diamond jewellery was showcased to celebrate royal connections in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year. According to Jean-Marc Lieberherr, Chief Commercial Officer for Rio Tinto Diamonds,

"These rare Argyle diamonds provide the escalating intrinsic value of an investment and are destined for the exclusive echelons of the world’s most sophisticated collectors.” 

About Argyle Pink Diamonds

Pink diamonds, produced at Rio Tinto’s Argyle Mine in Western Australia, are highly coveted as the world's most sought after gems. The Argyle Diamond Mine produces more than 90 per cent of the world's pink diamonds, which are sold in a broad range of colours and sizes to an international customer base.

Pink diamonds’ value is directly related to their rarity. The market for pink diamonds is quite separate to white diamonds, and due to their rarity, pink diamonds typically command prices far in excess of white diamonds.

The best diamonds are reserved for the annual Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender. Rio Tinto's Argyle Pink Diamonds business is located in Perth, Western Australia, alongside its cutting and polishing factory. Website: www.argylepinkdiamonds.com.au

About Rio Tinto Diamonds

Rio Tinto is one of the world’s major diamond producers through its 100 per cent control of the Argyle mine in Australia, 60 per cent of the Diavik mine in Canada and a 78 per cent interest in the Murowa mine in Zimbabwe. Rio Tinto also has an advanced diamond project in India. Rio Tinto’s share of the production from its diamond mines is sold through its Diamonds Sales and Marketing headquarters in Antwerp, Belgium.

Rio Tinto Diamonds is a leading supporter of the Kimberley Process as well as a founding member of Responsible Jewellery Council. Website: www.riotintodiamonds.com 

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