Friday 14th August 2015

What Are the Largest Markets for Argyle’s Colored Diamonds?

[From interview with Jean-Marc Lieberherr from Rio Tinto’s diamond division, Rapaport] "When Argyle opened there was no market for either the large volume of brown diamonds or the tiny volume of rare pink diamonds produced by the mine. The market had to be developed from scratch, which was done very successfully with the introduction of champagne and cognac-color diamonds.

Today, the largest market for champagne diamonds is still the U.S. but India, China and the Gulf have been catching up. The work we have done with Chow Tai Fook to develop the fashion jewelry category has provided a new sales channel for champagne diamonds but it is still in its early days.

The strategy we implemented with the Argyle pink diamond production is in line with that of top luxury brands: total control over the product – its manufacture, distribution and branding. Our operation in Perth keeps full control over every aspect by staying close to the source. It also maintains a sense of our heritage. Argyle pink diamonds have long been very well established in Australia, Japan and Europe. Interest in Argyle pink diamonds is also starting to grow in the U.S. market.

We sell the best of a year’s production of pink diamonds, some 50 to 65 diamonds, through the annual Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender. At their best, these can exceed $2 million per carat, making them the most expensive substance on earth by weight.

This year’s tender of 65 diamonds includes four rare red diamonds. We just launched the tender in Sydney and it will travel to Hong Kong and New York before bids close on October 21.

Full interview

Tags: Rio Tinto, Argyle, Market, Pink diamonds, Australia

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