Deep in the remote reaches of Western Australia, the world-famous Argyle diamond mine sits silent. Since operation officially started under owner Rio Tinto in 1983, the mine has been the world’s greatest source of rare pink, red, blue and violet diamonds, accounting for some 90 per cent of the world’s pink diamonds. For that reason, its annual invitation-only Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender has been a mainstay on the international diamond calendar since the first crop of gems were offered for sale in 1984. 6 gifts to Melania Trump from world leaders … but which was the priciest? But diamonds are an intrinsically finite resource and with the Argyle mine closing on November 3, 2020, the 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender is to be the final collection harvested from the mine. It is, to put it mildly, going to be a historic auction . The 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, entitled Journey Beyond, pays homage to the wondrous range of coloured diamonds that the mine has brought to light. Not only is the tender particularly large – with more than 70 GIA (Gemological Institute of America) graded diamonds totalling 81.63 carats – but the gems are also particularly exceptional, with more than 60 per cent of them weighing over one carat. They also represent the incredible range of colours that the Argyle mine offers: 38 of them graded pink by the GIA, 23 purplish pink, two purple-pink, two fancy red and five orangey pink. A pink diamonds video masterclass – before Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine closes The lot is headlined by the stunning Argyle Eclipse, a 3.47 carat radiant shaped fancy intense pink diamond, the largest of its colour grade to ever be offered at the tender. The rarity of gems from the Argyle mine cannot be overstated. To put things in context, all of the polished diamonds ever sold at the Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender in its 38 years total approximately 1,900 carats – or 380 grams. If you were to gather them all together, you would barely fill two champagne glasses. And of all the diamonds sold, only three per cent have been classified as red diamonds and two per cent as blue and violet diamonds. Meet India’s ‘mining king’ who sits on his own gold throne “Today’s luxury world makes so many claims to ‘rare’, even when luxury goods are produced in multiples,” says Michelle Sherring, Rio Tinto Diamonds’ manager, sales and business development. “Argyle pink diamonds in contrast are truly rare and one of a kind. Their global supply is limited by their creation two billion years ago.” Which celebrity has the most expensive engagement ring? Sherring goes on to point out how the tender attracts consistently strong Asian interest these days. “The colour range of the Argyle pink diamonds has so much appeal in Asia, from the cherry blossom pinks in Japan through to the auspicious reds in China, and every shade in between. In 2010 we took the Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender to Beijing and Shanghai for the first time and were delighted with the response. Over the ensuing decade we have seen and continue to see strong demand from Chinese collectors, connoisseurs and luxury jewellers,” she says. Alongside the 2021 annual Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, Rio Tinto is also offering 41 lots of Argyle Blue Diamonds in an auction entitled Once in a Blue Moon. The collection includes 17 GIA-graded diamonds and 24 groups of curated blue diamonds with a total weight of 24.88 carats. These gems, accumulated over the past three years, are the last-ever blue and violet diamonds to emerge from the Argyle mine. Considering that the mine is the world’s only known source of hydrogen-rich blue and violet diamonds, these may be the last we see of this colour of diamond for a long time – perhaps even forever. How De Beers is winning over China’s Gen Z with Tmall and WeChat “With the closure of the Argyle mine, the Argyle Pink Diamond will emerge as the new Fabergé egg,” declares award-winning jewellery historian Vivienne Becker, “the thing jewellery myths are made of.” Want more stories like this? Sign up here. Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .