|The Argyle Everglow, a 2.11-carat Fancy Red diamond, is the largest red diamond in the 33-year history of the Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender|
In the select world of coloured diamonds, red stones are the rarest of them all. An inestimably small proportion of the world’s diamonds are graded as Fancy Red - and those that are tend to be tiny; below one carat. All of which makes the 2.11-carat red diamond unveiled in New York this week all the more extraordinary: a freak of nature in the gemstone world.
The stone, dubbed the Argyle Everglow, was revealed in New York as part of the 2017 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, the annual showcase of the top-quality pink diamonds to have emerged from the Rio Tinto Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia.
Every year the mine, which produces 90 per cent of the world’s pink diamond supply, selects the rarest and highest-quality stones to be shown to connoisseurs and collectors around the world on a by-invitation-only basis. Since the tender launched in 1984, fewer than 20 carats of certified Fancy Red diamonds have been sold. The Argyle Everglow is the largest in the tender’s history.
The colour of pink and red diamonds is the result of an atomic deformity which affects the way light is refracted through the stone. Just 0.03 per cent of the diamonds mined every year across the globe are pink, and an even tinier proportion of these are red.
The Argyle pink diamond mines are expected to be exhausted by 2021 and as such large examples are increasingly rare on the market, and attracting record prices. The world record for the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction belongs to a pink: the 59.60-carat Pink Star diamond, which sold for £57.3 million at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong in April.
The largest known red diamond is the 5.11-carat Moussaieff Red, which was discovered in the 1990s by a Brazilian farmer, cut into a triangular shape and sold to the Moussaieff jewellery house. Another red diamond belonging to Moussaieff, a heart-shaped 2.09-carat stone, sold in 2014 for £3.4 million: over £1.6 million per carat.
The 2017 Argyle Pink Diamonds tender - dubbed “Custodians of Rare Beauty” comprises 58 stones totalling 49.39 carats and includes four Fancy Red diamonds, four Purplish Red diamonds, two Violet diamonds and one Blue diamond.
The Argyle Everglow is one of five “hero” diamonds in the tender, highlighted because of the intensity and vibrancy of their colours. The others include a 1.14-carat Fancy Red, a 2.42-carat Fancy Purple-Pink, a 1.50-carat Fancy Deep Pink and a 0.91-carat Fancy Deep Grey-Violet.
Rio Tinto Copper and Diamonds chief executive Arnaud Soirat said, “We are delighted to announce this historic diamond at our Tender preview, a testament to the unique Argyle ore-body that continues to produce the world’s rarest gems.”
The loose diamonds are showcased as part of an exhibition in New York, which also includes more than $60 million worth of jewellery made using Argyle pink diamonds, before travelling to Hong Kong and Perth.