Argyle Diamonds Make History in Sydney - Beyond Rare Collection Sets Auction Records

On November 19, 2023, First State Auctions in Sydney hosted a historic event. The largest collection of Argyle pink diamonds ever seen at an auction was up for grabs. This assortment of 20 diamonds, meticulously gathered by a former Rio Tinto employee, highlighted the bygone era of the now-closed Argyle mine, which ceased operations in 2021. This mine had been a powerhouse, churning out a whopping 90% of the world's pink diamonds. To put it in perspective, the annual Argyle tender, the primary source for these rare gems, usually featured just 40 to 60 diamonds.

What sets these diamonds apart isn't just their rarity but the profound tie they hold to the Argyle mine's history. The collector, who had the unique privilege of early access to the mine, witnessed the very inception of these mesmerizing gems. As the mine shut its doors, the chance to expand this unmatched collection closed with it, making this auction a unique opportunity to grab a slice of history.

1910 A Radiant Argyle Pink Diamond Collection of Extraordinary Significance
A Radiant Argyle Pink Diamond Collection of Extraordinary Significance

Out of the 20 diamonds up for grabs, a jaw-dropping 10 found a new home with a single bidder, solidifying the extraordinary nature of this collection. The total value of these ten Argyle diamonds hit an impressive AUD 294,000, underlining the allure and prestige attached to these rare gems.

Each of the 20 diamonds showcased its natural and distinctive hue across the pink spectrum, ensuring no two pieces were identical. From the deep orangy pink of a 1.04ct Princess Cut to the vivid pink of a 0.38ct Radiant Square Cut and the fancy deep purplish pink of a 0.15ct Pear Shape – a diverse palette was on display.

The excitement surrounding these ultra-rare gems was tangible, with a whopping 1,100 bids placed on the 20 diamonds during the auction. This staggering number reflects the global interest and the fierce competition among collectors vying for the chance to snag a piece of this historical treasure.

Beyond their monetary value, these diamonds carry more significance than being just precious stones; they embody the legacy of the Argyle mine, showcasing human ingenuity and the marvels that Mother Nature can create. The auction provided a once-in-a-lifetime shot for bidders to grab a piece of this legacy, a tangible link to the most extensive collection of Argyle pink diamonds ever to hit the auction block at once.

As the hammer fell, marking the end of an era and the beginning of a new chapter for these rare gems, this extraordinary collection found new homes, ensuring that the legacy of the Argyle mine lives on in the hearts and hands of those who appreciate the beauty of these rare natural wonders.


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