Australia’s biggest pink rough diamond has been discovered at Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine, the world’s largest producer of rare pink diamonds. The 12.76-carat diamond was unearthed at the Argyle open pit in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia, and will be known as The Argyle Pink Jubilee.
Argyle Pink Diamonds Manager Josephine Johnson said: “A diamond of this calibre is unprecedented - it has taken 26 years of Argyle production to unearth this stone and we may never see one like this again.” More than 90 per cent of the world's pink diamonds come from the Argyle mine.
The Argyle Pink Jubilee is a light pink diamond, similar in colour to The Williamson Pink, which is the diamond that Her Majesty The Queen received as a wedding gift and was subsequently set into a brooch for her Coronation.
Expert diamond polisher Richard How Kim Kam, who has worked for Argyle for 25 years, has started work on polishing the pink diamond in Perth. After two months of careful assessment and planning, it will take about 10 days to cut and polish the diamond as a single stone.
When the diamond has been cut and polished it will be graded by a team of international experts and showcased to the world before being sold as part of the iconic Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender later this year. “This diamond is one of a kind, so the market will determine its true value,” Rio Tinto Diamonds Communications Manager Robyn Ellison
Large pink diamonds tend to go to museums, are gifted to royalty or end up at auction houses like Christie’s auctions. Christie’s has only auctioned 18 polished pink diamonds of over 10 carats in its 244-year history.