Viewing entries tagged
argyle violet

Argyle unveils the 2017 Signature Tender

Rio Tinto has unveiled the largest Fancy Red diamond in the history of its Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, during a world exclusive preview in New York.

The 2.11 carat polished radiant cut diamond, known as The Argyle Everglow™, is the dazzling centrepiece of the 2017 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender – an annual showcase of the rarest diamonds from Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine.

Rio Tinto Copper & 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.”

Unprecedented in size, colour and clarity, The Argyle Everglow™ has been assessed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) as a notable diamond with a grade of Fancy Red VS2.

In the 33-year history of the Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender there have been less than 20 carats of Fancy Red certified diamonds sold.

Argyle Pink Diamonds manager Josephine Johnson said “The Argyle Everglow™ represents rarity within rarity and will drive global demand from collectors and connoisseurs in search of the incomparable.”

The hero cast of the 2017 Argyle Tender! - Image courtesy of Argyle Pink Diamonds

The hero cast of the 2017 Argyle Tender! - Image courtesy of Argyle Pink Diamonds

The 2017 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender is named ‘Custodians of Rare Beauty’ in honour of its rich provenance and honourable pedigree. The 58 diamonds in the Tender weigh a total of 49.39 carats – including four Fancy Red diamonds, four Purplish Red diamonds, two Violet diamonds, and one Blue diamond.

The collection comprises five “hero” diamonds selected for their unique beauty and named to ensure there is a permanent record of their contribution to the history of the world’s most important diamonds:

• Lot 1: Argyle Everglow™, 2.11 carat radiant shaped Fancy Red diamond
• Lot 2: Argyle Isla™, 1.14 carat radiant shaped Fancy Red diamond
• Lot 3: Argyle Avaline™, 2.42 carat cushion shaped Fancy Purple-Pink diamond
• Lot 4: Argyle Kalina™, 1.50 carat oval shaped Fancy Deep Pink diamond
• Lot 5: Argyle Liberté™, 0.91 carat radiant shaped Fancy Deep Gray-Violet diamond

The 2017 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender will be showcased in New York, Hong Kong and Perth with bids closing on 11 October 2017.

Why 2016 was the year of the colored diamond

By Nick Glass, CNN

Updated 5:27 AM ET, Tue December 20, 2016

(CNN) Relatively small, but slowly and perfectly formed over billions of years, the Argyle Violet diamond is so rare in color that it has its own unique diamond classification: "Fancy Deep Grayish Blueish Violet."

It was "a once in a lifetime discovery. I fell in love with it. We had to have it," says Scott West of L.J. West Diamonds Inc. of New York.

Like his father, Larry, and his grandfather Max before him, West is a diamond hunter, searching for the rarest and most unusually colored stones.

His most recent acquisition, the 2.83-carat oval Argyle Violet is being displayed as part of "Diamonds: Rare Brilliance" at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

An exclusive offer

Scott West spends three months every year traveling the world looking for special stones.

The Argyle Violet came from the remote Argyle Mine in North West Australia. Every year for the last 30 years, the mine's owner, Rio Tinto, has invited a select group of buyers to tender for newly discovered stones by sealed bid. It's said to be the most exclusive diamond sale in the world.

This year, there were 63 diamonds on offer, all pink, red or violet.

West says he and his father, Larry, first saw the Argyle Violet in a secure room in Hong Kong in September, and made "multi visits in differing light" before placing their bid in November.

He declined to comment on a Financial Times report that L.J.West's winning bid was more than $10 million for the Argyle Violet and 15 other colored stones, although he did agree that it was "tough" having to make a sealed bid.

The allure of the sparkle

L.J. West claims to have the largest inventory of large colored diamonds in the world with some 2000 stones of all colors, many of them pink.

But, naturally, West remains discreet about money and collectors. Though the company did admit that Halle Berry wore one of their diamond rings (the Pumpkin Diamond, Fancy Vivid Orange, 5.54 carats) when she won her Oscar in 2002.

"The Middle East is a strong market. China continues to grow. The United States is still the strongest market of all," he says.

Article courtesy of CNN



New York, November 28, 2016 — The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) today announced details for its coming exhibition Diamonds: Rare Brilliance, which will bring together rare colored gems never before seen in the United States inside the museum’s renowned Gem and Mineral Hall. At the center of Rare Brilliance will be the “Juliet Pink Diamond,” which is an extremely rare pink diamond of over 30 carats, and a Fancy Deep Grayish Bluish Violet named the “Argyle Violet” after the eponymous Argyle mine in Western Australia, where it was discovered in 2015. Through stunning examples, such as the fluorescent lighting of a “rainbow” diamond necklace and a very rare Victorian Orchid Vivid Purple diamond, the exhibition will bring to light the rare properties of colored gemstones, the science behind natural colored diamonds, and how the interplay of light and chemistry gives diamonds color. Organized in partnership with L.J. West Diamonds, Rare Brilliance will be on view from December 16, 2016, through March 19, 2017.  

The Juliet Pink Diamond - set in a magnificent necklace with marquise, pear and round-cut shape white diamonds

The Juliet Pink Diamond - set in a magnificent necklace with marquise, pear and round-cut shape white diamonds

“We are thrilled to share these gems, which are incredibly rare in color, intensity, quality and size — and so brilliantly fashioned from the original roughs — with museum visitors, providing opportunities to learn about the geology, physics and chemistry behind each diamond’s sparkle and hue,” said Dr. Aaron Celestian, NHM’s Associate Mineralogy Curator. “These jewels, on loan from L.J. West, capture the imagination and will shine amongst the museum’s world-renowned collection of gems and minerals.”

“Throughout history diamonds have been synonymous with love and romance. The Juliet Pink captures this connection with its vibrant, strong pink color that is both alluring and seductive. After understanding the stone’s importance and color we decided to name the stone the ‘Juliet Pink Diamond,’ as the stone captivates passion and ultimate beauty.” – Scott West, the vice president of L.J. West Diamonds.

The Juliet Pink Diamond, which will be set in a necklace with marquise, pear and round-cut white diamonds totaling 98.70 carats for the exhibition, has been designated a type IIa diamond by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) for its remarkable chemical purity and clarity. Natural colored diamonds are a strikingly rare phenomenon, occurring in an estimated one out of every 10,000 gems, and the precise science behind individual colors remains a mystery.

The Rainbow Necklace – a glorious and brilliant design that features over more than 100 rare natural color diamonds from the vast color spectrum

The Rainbow Necklace – a glorious and brilliant design that features over more than 100 rare natural color diamonds from the vast color spectrum

In addition to the Juliet Pink Diamond, Diamonds: Rare Brilliance will introduce U.S. audiences to one of the world’s rarest diamonds — a Fancy Deep Grayish Bluish Violet named the “Argyle Violet” after the Argyle mine in Western Australia. There are no other known diamonds of this combination of colors or with the same clarity and size, and it is the largest Violet to be discovered in the Argyle Diamond Mine. The 9.17 original rough stone was an unusual shape characterized by deep grooves and an uneven surface. After more than 80 hours of carving and polishing, the diamond on view in NHM’s Gem Vault is a 2.83-carat oval that is set in a designer ring surrounded by Argyle Vivid Pink Diamonds.

The Argyle Violet – an historic diamond, the its 2.83-carat oval shape is making it the largest violet diamond unearthed from the Argyle diamond mine

The Argyle Violet – an historic diamond, the its 2.83-carat oval shape is making it the largest violet diamond unearthed from the Argyle diamond mine


“We are so pleased to be able to share these exceptional stones with the public through the Rare Brilliance exhibition at the Natural History Museum of LA,” Scott West from L.J. West Diamonds said. “Just as the ring and necklace settings provide a backdrop to highlight the brilliance of the cut stones, the excellent company of NHM’s Gem and Mineral Hall collection will provide the perfect context for these rare and important diamonds.”
The Victorian Orchid Vivid Purple Diamond - Fancy Vivid Purple fashioned in a cushion-cut shaped at a noteworthy 1.64 carats

The Victorian Orchid Vivid Purple Diamond - Fancy Vivid Purple fashioned in a cushion-cut shaped at a noteworthy 1.64 carats

The NHM Gem and Mineral Hall
The world-renowned, 6,000-square-foot Gem and Mineral Hall at NHM opened in 1978 and is one of the finest permanent exhibit halls of gems and minerals in the world. The Hall houses a selection of the Museum’s extensive collection — displaying more than 2,000 spectacular specimens within two large galleries — which as a whole includes more than 150,000 specimens and is the largest in the western United States. The NHM Mineral Sciences Department curates the museum’s world-class collection of minerals, rocks, gems, ores, and meteorites, and it conducts research focusing on furthering scientific understanding of these materials. The department actively maintains the Gem and Mineral Hall and provides general and scientific programming through the Museum’s Gem & Mineral Council.

Details -

The Juliet Pink Diamond – The exceptional gem is a Fancy Intense Pink diamond, VVS2. Cut from an estimated 90-carat rough from South Africa, the rare gem is fashioned in an oval-cut shape at a noteworthy 30.03 carats and is set in a magnificent necklace with marquise, pear and round-cut shape white diamonds, VVS E-F totaling 98.70 carats.

The Argyle Violet – an historic diamond, the its 2.83-carat oval shape is making it the largest violet diamond unearthed from the Argyle diamond mine, polished from an extraordinary 9.17-carat rough diamond. An impossible rarity, the Argyle Violet possesses the unique color grading of Fancy Deep Grayish Bluish Violet, and it headlines the 2016 Argyle Pink Diamonds Signature Tender.

The Rainbow Necklace – a glorious and brilliant design that features over more than 100 rare natural color diamonds from the vast color spectrum. The necklace features radiant-cut shape multi-color diamonds at a noteworthy 35.93-carat weight and is set in a custom, one- of- a- kind 18-karatK white gold arch necklace. The necklace took over 5 years to assemble as collecting the diamonds of similar shape and size was extremely miraculous occurrence.

The Victorian Orchid Vivid Purple Diamond – The Victorian Orchid is an extremely rare gem; the diamond is one of the rarest stones currently worldwide because of– due to its unique color. The Victorian Orchid is a Fancy Vivid Purple diamond, SI2. This rare gem is fashioned in a cushion-cut shaped at a noteworthy 1.64 carats and is set in a flower designer ring with a match pair of kite- shape diamonds ofs 0.42 carats.platinum ring setting.

Visitor Information
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007
Group Visits  

Groups of 10 or more people receive discounted rates on Museum admission. Group tickets available now by calling (213) 763-3218 or by emailing for reservations and more information.


Tickets to the exhibition are free for NHM members. To become a member, visit

About the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is located at 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles. It is open daily 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum was the first dedicated museum building in Los Angeles, opening its doors in 1913. It has amassed one of the world’s most extensive and valuable collections of natural and cultural history — with more than 35 million objects, some as old as 4.5 billion years. The Natural History Family of Museums includes the NHM, the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum (Hancock Park/Mid-Wilshire), and the William S. Hart Park and Museum (Newhall, California). The Family of Museums serves more than 1 million families and visitors annually and is a national leader in research, exhibitions and education.

About L.J. West Diamonds
The journey for L.J. West Diamonds spans over five decades and three generations, and it continues to this day. L.J. West has established itself as one of the world’s most distinguished houses for some of the most rare and important exotic Natural Fancy Color Diamonds to have ever been unearthed.

Advocates for the collectors whose treasures we provide. L.J. West is an expert in every phase of the jewelry process – from sourcing to the cutting, polishing and final design. Each exceptional jewel is carefully set to become a unique work of art.

Coloured diamonds outshine whites as top mine’s sparkle fades

Jamie Smyth in Sydney of Financial Times

Pink and violet stones surge in value amid uncertainty over site where 90% are found

Over a quarter of a century Larry West has scoured the globe looking for some of the world’s rarest coloured diamonds. This week he secured a big prize, the Argyle Violet, which he bought along with 15 other coloured stones for more than $10m. 

“At 2.83 carats, this is the largest and most valuable violet diamond ever recovered from the Argyle mine,” says Mr West, founder of New York’s LJ West Diamonds. “You could fill a garbage truck with the rough diamonds produced from the mine every year, an ashtray with pink diamonds but only a half teaspoon of violets,” he says. 

Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine, which is based in the remote north-west of Australia, produces about 90 per cent of the top-quality red, pink and violet diamonds dug up worldwide. The stones are extraordinarily rare, accounting for 0.1 per cent of the mine’s annual output with the remainder made up of more affordable champagne and cognac stones used in the fashion jewellery sector in the US, China and India. 

The Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia

The Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia

Uncertainty over the Argyle mine’s future, as well as growing appreciation for rare pink diamonds among the super-rich, is prompting a surge in the value of these coloured stones even as the price of traditional white diamonds falls on world markets. 

A 9.14 carat pink pear-shaped diamond is expected to realise $16m-$18m when it is auctioned at Christies in Geneva next week.

“Pink diamond prices have tripled over the past 15 years and on average would be at least 25 to 30 times the value of white diamonds,” says David Fardon, chief executive of Linneys, one of 35 ateliers mandated to buy coloured diamonds from Argyle. 

By comparison, global sales of diamond jewellery fell in 2015 for the first time in six years, declining 2 per cent to $79bn. Sales of rough diamonds fell 30 per cent.

Mr Fardon says the scarcity of coloured pink, red and violet diamonds mined at Argyle has enabled them to buck the downward trend in diamond prices. He says they have become a collectable item, with some of his clients buying the stones to include as part of their retirement savings fund. 

Prices are rising 15 per cent a year because of increasing awareness of rare coloured diamonds, growing demand from China and India and the fact production at the Argyle mine is only guaranteed until 2020, says Mr Fardon.

In 2013 Rio said it was extending Argyle’s life until 2020 by building an underground extension to the existing open-cut mine. But it is uncertain whether Rio will sanction any new investment to extend the Argyle mine’s life beyond that date, in part because the valuable pink diamonds make up a small fraction of the mine’s total output.

“The odds are the mine will close a year or two after that, which means these stones will become more and more valuable,” says Mr West, one of the world’s most prodigious buyers’ of Argyle pinks. 

Mr West says he plans to show the Argyle Violet in an exhibition at the Museum of Natural History in Los Angeles to raise awareness of coloured diamonds.

“It’s important to let the public see them and get the word out. That can only add value to the market,” he says.

The Company that Bought the Violet Diamond

By Michelle Graff - National Jeweler

So is violet the rarest hue of diamond there is? “There’s no question about it,” said Larry West of L.J. West Diamonds, the company that placed the winning bid on this 2.83-carat violet diamond from the 2016 Argyle tender.

New York--It’s the biggest violet diamond ever found at Australia’s Argyle Mine, and it now belongs to a New York company that’s been in the colored diamond business for nearly 40 years.

L.J. West Diamonds Inc. placed the winning bid on the 2.83-carat “Argyle Violet,” the centerpiece of this year’s Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, Rio Tinto’s annual sale of the top diamonds to come out of its Argyle mine.

Company President Larry West said the Violet, a diamond that generated a lot of interest and excitement, was a stone he “really wanted to possess.”

“There’s such a huge disparity between this size and the next biggest violet stone that’s ever come out of the (Argyle) mine,” he said, referencing the 1.41-carat Ocean Seer from the 2008 tender. “It’s such a rarity that I felt it was worth bidding on.”

West is not saying how much he paid for the stone, which is being set in a ring and surrounded by smaller Argyle pinks, though he did reveal that it will be available to purchase next year.

But he won’t be taking the violet diamond to Christie’s or Sotheby’s to sell it.

Rather, L.J. West Diamonds will offer the Argyle Violet through its network of retail partners after it is featured in the “Diamonds: Rare Brilliance” exhibition slated to run from December to March 2017 at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

“I am glad to have it shown,” West said of the violet’s inclusion in the exhibition. “It’s so rare. Nobody’s ever seen stones like this, and I think it’s important for them to be out there in the public domain. It makes it more real for people; it’s not just a story.”

This year, a total of 63 pink, red and violet diamonds--collectively dubbed “The Chroma Collection”-- comprised the Argyle tender, which was 100 percent sold by lot.

Collectively, the stones represented the highest quality, size and color composition in the tender’s 32-year history and, consequently, achieved the highest average price per carat ever.

Beyond L.J. West Diamonds, Rio Tinto did not reveal the names of any companies that purchased a diamond from the tender, nor did it share prices.

Read the full article here