Anyone who is familiar with the world of natural fancy color diamonds is well aware of the most popular color diamond event of the year, The Argyle Tender. It is a prestigious, invitation only, annual tender held by Rio Tinto’s famous Australian Argyle Mine, known mainly for their superb argyle pink diamonds they produce. This year's Argyle Pink Diamond Tender took place this September.
The 2013 Argyle Tender promised to be unforgettable, with 64 impressive lots displaying extremely rare color diamonds, and impress it did. Among the many lots, 58 held pink diamonds, while 3 held extremely rare and impressive violet gray/blue diamonds. In addition, for the first time ever in the 30-year history of the tender, they proudly presented 3 amazing Fancy Red Diamonds of impressive size as the highlight of the stones offered.
The Six Main Diamonds
Since there were so many outstanding diamonds at this year’s tender, it is impossible to cover each and every one. Therefore, we will make do by reviewing the six top diamonds; each named to preserve its rare and unique beauty.
The Argyle Phoenix
Lot 1 of the 2013 Argyle Tender was dedicated to the 1.56-carat round brilliant Fancy Red diamond. Since mining at the Argyle Mine began in 1983 only six diamonds have been classified as Fancy Red, and of those six, three were tendered at this event. That is quite the honor.
The Argyle Seraphina
This diamond is a 2.02-carat princess cut fancy intense purple pink diamond with an impressive intensity, size, and clarity for a princess cut stone.
The Argyle Aurelia
As the second to smallest diamond among the tender’s top six stones, the Aurelia is a 1.18-carat oval Fancy Intense Purplish Pink diamond. Not too shabby especially since it holds a 3PP Argyle color grading.
The Argyle Imperial
This Fancy Intense Orangey Pink diamond is another first for this tender, as it is the first diamond over three carats in eight years. At 3.02-carats, this radiant diamond took the 4th lot at this year’s tender.
The Argyle Celestial
As the only true blue diamond at the 2013 Argyle Tender (there are two other gray diamonds with blue in them, but not classified as blue), it is no surprise that this heart-shaped beauty took the fifth lot. The 0.71-carat Fancy Dark Gray-Blue diamond will be sold along with a matching heart-shaped Fancy Pink diamond from the Argyle collection.
The Argyle Dauphine
The Dauphine is a 2.52-carat radiant-cut Fancy Deep Pink diamond with a strong 2P Argyle color grading.
Tender as a Whole
With an impressive total of 64 diamonds, there were stones of all sorts at this year’s tender. The diamonds ran from a small 0.20-carat Fancy Red diamond, the smallest stone ever to be tendered, to a 3.02-carat diamond. There were 46 stones under a carat in size, including 12 stones under 0.50-carats and 34 stones between 0.50-carats and 0.99-carats. Eighteen diamonds were larger than a carat, and among these only three were over 2.00-carats. In terms of intensity, we saw it all at the 2013 Argyle Tender. From 1 Fancy Purplish Pink, 3 round Fancy Reds, and 1 Fancy Blue Gray to 39 Fancy Intense color diamonds. Then, there were 8 Fancy Vivids, 10 Fancy Deep, and 2 Fancy Dark. The clarity grades varied through one VVS2 through to five stones with an i2 clarity grading. In total, the diamonds varied greatly.
Last year LEIBISH was proud to have won 25% of all the tender stones offered with a dramatic take of 17 Argyle Tender stones. Needless to say, there are high hopes for the outcome of this year’s bids.
As always, the Argyle Tender was an exciting event with fascinating pieces. Since the winners of the tender have yet to be announced, the excitement and anticipation is still felt. As we wait to hear the final results, we can only imagine what next year’s tender will bring.
Contributor: Benji Margolese