Extremely rare fancy red diamonds offered in Rio Tinto auction
LONDON, October 4, 2014 – Rio Tinto is offering four extremely rare fancy red diamonds among 55 stones in an auction.
The remainder of the stones from its Australian Argyle mine are pink and purplish red.
Fancy gem-quality natural colour diamonds have increased in value in recent years due to their small numbers, growing demand and vigorous marketing.
The star lot in the auction is the “Argyle Cardinal”, a 1.21 carat radiant-cut, fancy red diamond, which one trade source said could command over $3 million.
One of the rarest red diamonds in the world is the 5.1-carat Moussaieff Red, discovered by a Brazilian farmer and now owned by Moussaieff Jewellers.
The stone is estimated by trade professionals to be worth well in excess of $25 million.
The diamonds in the Rio Tinto auction were being shown in Sydney, New York, Hong Kong and Perth, where interested parties can examine them and make sealed bids. The auction closes on October 8.
Analysts said the pricing of rare collectible assets such as red diamonds is difficult and the market illiquid.
But the limited number of mines and exploration opportunities and the rising demand in markets such as China mean that prospects are good for gem-quality diamonds to rise in value.
Value is based on factors such as hue, the cost of finding and extracting a red diamond and the numbers of such stones that come to the market.