National Jeweler Network


74-carat diamond leads Rio Tinto’s special tender

November 07, 2013

Antwerp--On the heels of a pink diamonds sale that set two records, mining company Rio Tinto reported “strong results” at its recent tender of large rough, dubbed the “Specials” tender.

The tender, held Oct. 3 to 24 in Antwerp and Israel, included rough diamonds 10.8 carat or larger unearthed at the company’s three diamonds mines, which are located in Australia, Canada and Zimbabwe.

Rio Tinto invited more than 100 diamond specialists from around the globe to bid on the 104 parcels of rough diamonds in the tender. Notable among them was a 74-carat rough diamond from the company’s Murowa Mine in Zimbabwe, the most valuable diamond of the lots, and a large fancy brown diamond from the Argyle mine in Western Australia.

A total of 34 companies placed winning bids, with particularly strong representation from Israel, Rio Tinto said.

Though the company did not provide specifics on the number of lots sold or prices paid, Patrick Coppens, general manager of sales for Rio Tinto Diamonds, said the results “reflect the strong demand and resilience” at this end of the market.

Last month, Rio Tinto released results from another tender of rare diamonds, its 2013 Argyle Pink Diamonds tender, which include natural color cut and polished diamonds from its Australian mine.

That sale set two new records: the 1.56-carat “Argyle Phoenix” achieved the highest price per carat ever paid for a diamond from Argyle mine, while the “Argyle Dauphine,” a 2.51-carat fancy deep pink, set a new record for the highest price ever paid for a diamond from the mine. The Dauphine also set a new world record price for a fancy deep pink diamond.