By Michelle Graff
The three diamonds dubbed the “Diavik Stars of the Arctic” are, from left to right, the 177.71-carat “Vega,” the 24.82-carat “Capella” and the 59.10-carat “Altair.” Rio Tinto is offering the diamonds via tender, with bids closing later this month.
London—The Diavik Diamond Mine in Canada has yielded three sizable rough diamonds—including one very rare yellow—and Rio Tinto will try to sell them this month.  

Ranging in size from 24 to nearly 178 carats, the stones are headlining Rio Tinto’s current “Specials” tender, a sale of rough diamonds that are 10.8 carats or larger.

Known collectively as the “Stars of the Arctic,” the biggest of the three is “Vega of the Arctic,” a 177.71-carat rough diamond that Rio Tinto said is one of the largest and most valuable gem-quality diamonds to ever come out of Canada. (The biggest diamond ever mined in Canada weighed 187.7 carats and also came from Diavik.)
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The “Capella” is a 24.82-carat yellow diamond. Rio Tinto said the discovery of a yellow diamond of this size is “very rare;” the mine only produces about five per year on average, making it less than 0.001 percent of Diavik’s annual production.

The last diamond, the “Altair of the Arctic,” is a 59.10-carat white gem-quality rough.

Rio Tinto is currently showcasing the stones to large diamond specialists in Israel and Antwerp. Bids will close on Oct. 25.

The Diavik Diamond Mine is a joint venture between Rio Tinto (60 percent ownership) and Dominion Diamond Mines (40 percent ownership). Production at the mine started in 2003, went underground in 2012 and is expected to extend through 2025.

This summer, mine operators opened a fourth pipe at Diavik, the A21. The $350 million addition is anticipated to be a key source of incremental supply for the next four years.

Also this month for Rio Tinto, bids are closing on the2018 tender of red, violet and pink diamonds mined at Argyle in Western Australia, which the company brought to New York last week and includes the 2.28-carat fancy purplish-red “Argyle Muse,” pictured above.

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