Rio Tinto finds Australia’s biggest rough pink diamond
LONDON, February 22, 2012 – Mining group Rio Tinto has unearthed an extremely rare pink diamond, Australia’s biggest rough pink diamond weighing 12.76 carats at its Argyle mine.
More than 90 percent of the world’s pink diamonds come from the Argyle mine in the East Kimberley region in the far northeast area of Western Australia.
The Argyle Pink Jubilee Photo: Rio Tinto
The diamond, discovered in the Argyle open pit, will be known as The Argyle Pink Jubilee, Rio Tinto said.
It is a light pink diamond, similar to The Williamson Pink, the diamond Britain’s Queen Elizabeth received as a wedding gift and which was later set into a brooch for her Coronation.
Diamond polisher Richard How Kim Kam, who has worked for Argyle for 25 years, has started work on polishing the diamond in Perth, Australia.
After two months of careful assessment and planning, it will take about 10 days to cut and polish it as a single stone.
Richard said: “I’m going to take it very carefully. I know the world will be watching.”
When the diamond has been cut and polished it will be graded by a team of experts and promoted internationally before being sold as part of the Argyle pink diamonds tender later this year.
Argyle pink diamonds manager Josephine Johnson said: “This rare diamond is generating incredible excitement.
“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.”
She added: “The individual who gets to wear this remarkable pink diamond will be incredibly lucky indeed.”
Large pink diamonds tend to go to museums, are gifted to royalty or end up at auction houses such as Christie’s.
Christie’s has auctioned 18 polished pink diamonds over 10 carats in its 244 year history.