Sourcing

Tiffany Buys 35 of the Last Diamonds Recovered From Argyle

SourcingJan 24, 2023

Tiffany Buys 35 of the Last Diamonds Recovered From Argyle

Purchased directly from Rio Tinto, the collection consists of pinks, purples and one red, none larger than 1.52 carats.

Tiffany & Co. announced Tuesday that it’s bought a collection of 35 pink and purple diamonds Rio Tinto recovered in the final days of mining at Argyle. Two of the diamonds are pictured here. (Image credit: Tiffany & Co.)
New York—Tiffany & Co. has purchased 35 diamonds from the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia, a “final bespoke curation” of the rarest stones from the now-closed mine, the jeweler said.
 
Reported in Sunday’s New York Times and formally announced by Tiffany Tuesday morning, the retailer bought the diamonds directly from Rio Tinto, which unearthed the diamonds in the mine’s final days. 

The cache, dubbed the “Tiffany Collection,” comprises fancy intense pink, fancy intense purplish-pink, fancy vivid pink, fancy vivid purplish-pink and deep pink diamonds, as well as one fancy red diamond.   
 
They range in size from 0.35 carats to 1.52 carats, a typical size for the most desirable pink and purple diamonds from the mine though, Tiffany noted, there are two diamonds over 1 carat. (The biggest vivid pink diamond ever included in the Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender was 3.14 carats, the aptly named “Argyle Alpha.”)  
 
Tiffany is not disclosing the purchase price, though brand President and Chief Executive Anthony Ledru confirmed to the Times it was the jeweler’s largest purchase of 2022. 
 
The jeweler said Tuesday it will show the diamonds to select clients for a limited time at “global Tiffany high jewelry events;” the Times reported the diamonds will be shown in New York City and Doha, Qatar. 
 
Tiffany also will incorporate the pink diamonds into capsule collections and, potentially, pieces in Blue Book, its annual high jewelry catalog.
 
 Related stories will be right here … 
 
Located in Western Australia, the Argyle Diamond Mine opened with alluvial mining in 1983 and closed in November 2020, spelling the end of a major source of natural colored diamonds and removing a total of 11 million carats from the market, about 10 percent of global supply. 

Though most of its production consisted of brown diamonds, Argyle became famous for its vivid pinks, reds, and purples, the best of which Rio Tinto took on a global tour each year for the Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender. 
 
Over time, the highly saturated stones became coveted collectors’ items, skyrocketing in price and becoming a brand all their own, literally. 
 
After the mine closed, Rio Tinto retained “Argyle Pink Diamonds” as a brand.
 
Rio Tinto never released prices paid for individual stones or totals from any of the tenders, but in 2020 the miner said the value of Argyle pink diamonds had appreciated more than 500 percent in the past 20 years, outperforming all major equity markets.
 
Tiffany Chief Gemologist Victoria Wirth Reynolds said the collection Tiffany purchased showcases the range of colors Argyle produced and aligns with the retailer’s goal of being able to tell consumers the exact source of their diamonds.
 
“Not only are they incredibly rare, but these diamonds also align perfectly with our Diamond Craft Journey initiative, whereby we provide our clients information on the provenance—or the region or countries of origin—for every newly sourced, individually registered diamond that we set in jewelry,” she said. 
 
The debut of the 35-diamond “Tiffany Collection” marks the first time Rio Tinto has curated and named a bespoke collection in honor of a jeweler.
 
“We are delighted that this collection of rare Argyle Pink Diamonds, with their extraordinary Australian provenance and a story that began one-and-a-half billion years ago, are now entrusted to the unrivaled craftsmanship of Tiffany & Co.,” said Sinead Kaufman, chief executive of Rio Tinto Minerals.
 
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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