It was unveiled by Rio Tinto recently that four extremely rare GIA graded fancy red diamonds will be included in the upcoming diamond tender. Rio said there was a definite growing interest in jewels, collectibles, and fancy color loose diamonds as alternative investments. The diamond tender will comprise of 55 diamonds, including 51 pink diamonds and these four fancy red diamonds. The star jewel of the sale is the Argyle Cardinal, a 1.21 carat radiant cut fancy red diamond. Fancy colored loose diamonds such as fancy red, pink or green loose diamonds of this size regularly fetch $1 million to $2million per carat, and are worth about 50 times more than white diamonds.
In the 30 year history, only 13 fancy color red diamonds have been put on tender and there are only around 30 fancy red loose diamonds graded by the GIA in the world, according to the manager or Rio’s Argyle Pink Diamonds division Mrs. Johnson. Johnson also says there is a definite increase in the demand for fancy colored diamonds, especially from financial institutions searching for alternatives investments. “Five years ago, 10 to 20% of our colored diamonds went into collections and never left the box,” she said. “Now it’s more like half, and the level of inquire we get around our tender quality diamonds from banks and investment houses regarding fancy colored red, pink, and green loose diamonds have increased over the last two years.”
One of the largest fancy red color diamonds to come from the mine is the 1.56 carat Argyle Phoenix which sold for more than $2 million US dollars to a Singaporean jeweler in October 2013. It was the highest price per carat paid for any diamond from the mine at a tender. The Argyle Dauphine, a 2.51 carat Fancy Deep Pink diamond, set another record as it sold for more than $2 million to a diamond dealer in the US. The Argyle mine produces more than 90 percent of the world’s pink diamonds.