Rio Tinto has discovered a rare 2.83-carat violet diamond at its Western Australian mine, the largest of its type from the operation, which could sell for more than $4 million.
The tender attracts private bids and while the price for the rare gem is yet to be decided, it could attract offers anywhere from $1m to $2m a carat.
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Rio Tinto said that violet diamonds were rarely seen. In 32 years of operation, Argyle had produced only 12 carats of polished violet diamonds for its annual tender.
The mine has only ever produced one other significant violet-coloured diamond of 1 carat or more, which was discovered in 2008.
“This stunning violet diamond will capture the imagination of the world’s leading collectors and connoisseurs,” Argyle Pink Diamonds manager Josephine Johnson said.
More than 90 per cent of the world’s rare pink diamonds come from the Argyle mine and it is the only source of hydrogen-rich violet diamonds. The Argyle Violet was discovered in August last year.
It took more than 80 hours to polish the Argyle Violet to form its shape from the 9.17 carat rough diamond — which was said to look like a meteorite with deep etching, pits and crevices.
The 2016 Argyle Pink diamonds tender will commence private trade viewings in June and travel to Copenhagen, Hong Kong and New York.
By Sarah-Jane Tasker
With many thanks to The Australian
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