Thursday 15th April 2010

Red Argyle diamond ring fails to make asking price at Sotheby's Australian auction

The first-ever red Argyle diamond ring to go up for sale at auction in Australia failed to sell on Tuesday at Sotheby's, with buyers deterred by its $700,000 to $1 million sale estimate.
Bidding opened at $480,000 and ended at $490,000. Although that figure, in itself, would still have set a new record at an Australian auction, it fell far short of expectations for the rare 0.82-carat fancy purplish red Argyle diamond.
The highest price ever paid for an item of jewellery at auction in Australia was $456,000 for a loose 5.34-carat brilliant-cut diamond at Sotheby's three years ago.
The red Argyle diamond is set in a ring surrounded by two blue diamonds and a cluster of white diamonds.
The red diamonds are found only at Rio Tinto's Argyle mine in Western Australia where they were first discovered in 1987. Only a few are released on to the market every year.
A 0.91-carat red diamond sold for just over $1 million, including a 20 percent buyer's premium, at auction in Hong Kong in 2004.
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