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'Pink Star' diamond sells for record $71.2 million at auction

The "Pink Star" weighs 59.60-carats, and is the most valuable polished diamond ever offered at auction. Image courtesy of CNN, Sotheby’s

The "Pink Star" weighs 59.60-carats, and is the most valuable polished diamond ever offered at auction. Image courtesy of CNN, Sotheby’s

Courtesy of CNN

It took nearly two years to cut the Pink Star from a rough diamond. It first appeared in public in 2003 and later became part of an exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, home of the famous 45.52 carat blue Hope Diamond. It was also displayed at the Natural History Museum in London.

Tuesday's winning bid surpassed the previous world auction record for a pink diamond -- $46.16 million for the 24.78 carat Graff Pink, sold at Sotheby's in Geneva in 2010.

Chow Tai Fook has renamed its new possession the CTF Pink Star in memory of the company's founder and to commemorate the brand's 88th anniversary.

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

The Chroma Collection is announced for this year's Argyle Pink Diamond Tender 2016

Rio Tinto’s Argyle Pink Diamonds business has unveiled the largest violet diamond recovered from the Argyle mine in Western Australia.

The 2.83 carat polished oval shaped diamond, known as The Argyle Violet, will be the dazzling centrepiece of the 2016 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, the annual showcase of the rarest diamonds from the Argyle mine.

The Argyle Violet

The Argyle Violet

Argyle Pink Diamonds manager Josephine Johnson said “We are very excited to announce this historic diamond ahead of our Tender launch. This stunning violet diamond will capture the imagination of the world’s leading collectors and connoisseurs.”

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. Violet diamonds are seldom seen and in 32 years Argyle has produced only 12 carats of polished violet diamonds for its iconic Tender.

The Argyle Violet was polished in Western Australia by one of Argyle’s master polishers, Richard How Kim Kam, from a 9.17 carat rough diamond discovered in 2015. The Argyle Violet has been assessed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) as a notable diamond with the colour grade of Fancy Deep Greyish Bluish Violet.

Information courtesy of Rio Tinto