The 2.11-carat radiant-cut fancy red Argyle Everglow, the top lot of the 2017 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender
New York--There were at least two things to learn at Rio Tinto’s preview of its 2017 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, held Wednesday in New York.

Number one: this year’s sale of rare colored diamonds from the Argyle mine in Australia contains the biggest fancy red diamond in the tender’s 33-year history.

Number two: one of the world’s best-selling and most well-known authors is an avid collector of red diamonds.

The Argyle Everglow is a 2.11-carat radiant-cut fancy red diamond and is one of five “hero” stones in this year’s Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender. (Hero stones are diamonds of relatively large size and exceptional color, and are the only tender diamonds that Rio Tinto names.)


The other four hero diamonds of this year’s tender, which has been named “Custodians of Rare Beauty,” are:
--The Argyle Isla, a 1.14-carat fancy red radiant;
--The Argyle Avaline, a 2.42-carat fancy purple-pink cushion;
--The Argyle Kalina, a 1.50-carat fancy deep pink oval; and
--The Argyle Liberté, a 0.91-carat fancy deep gray-violet radiant-cut diamond.

Including the five hero stones, this year’s tender totals 58 diamonds weighing 49.39 carats and all graded by the Gemological Institute of America.

Four graded fancy red and another four as purplish red. There were also two violet diamonds and one blue, with the remaining 41 graded pink.

Following the preview held this week in New York, the diamonds will travel to Hong Kong and then come back to New York in September, before returning to Australia where they were mined.

Bids close Oct. 11.

Nestled among the hero stones at Wednesday afternoon’s event in New York was jewelry from boutique diamond company JFine, L.J. West Diamonds--which had on display the 2.83-carat Argyle Violet diamond it purchased from last year’s tender--and one very special pair of earrings.


The “Argyle Allegro Red Roses” earrings are one of 12 pieces in the new “Nicholas Sparks Collection.” They are set with nearly 10 carats of red diamonds, including the Argyle Allegro, a 0.79-carat fancy red radiant that was part of the 2015 Argyle tender.

And, yes, this is the Nicholas Sparks of “The Notebook” fame.

David Shara, CEO of Optimum Diamonds, a New York-based company that specializes in colored diamonds and works with the author, said that Sparks is a “serious collector” of red diamonds from the Argyle mine; in addition to the 20 set in the Roses earrings, he has “a few dozen more.”

He’s chosen to share his diamonds via a dozen pieces of jewelry that will go on display in museums in Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles and London but won’t be for sale, at least not right away.

“For now,” Shara said, “he has no intention of selling anything.”

“(Sparks) is a collector,” Shara continued. “He is a real collector and connoisseur and investor. He understands, really, that Argyle is closing in (a few) years.

“He says in three years or five years, when Argyle closes, what’ the price going to do? Obviously, it’s going to go up.”

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