Rio Tinto’s recent and final diamond tender included ‘Once in a blue moon’, a rare collection of blue and violet diamonds that were won by Kumning Diamonds, a Hong Kong-based specialist colored diamond supplier.
Kumning purchased the entire 41-lot Argyle collection – totalling 24.88 carats – which was titled the Once in a Blue Moon Tender.
The Argyle mine in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia is best know for its pink diamond production however, small blue and violet diamonds were the occasionally discovered. They have been described as “a beautiful array of shades”.
Following the tender, a Rio Tinto media release stated that “with the closure of Argyle it is extremely unlikely that there will ever be another collective offering of iconic gems in this colour spectrum from a single mine.”
Sinead Kaufman, chief executive Rio Tinto Minerals said, ”The rarity and beauty of the Once in a Blue Moon diamonds speaks volumes. They are highly coveted, the ultimate limited edition and we congratulate Kunming Diamonds on their global bid.”
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Kunming Diamonds, which has had a log association with Argyle’s pink diamonds, is a founding member of the Hong Kong Indian Diamond Association, an honorary member of the Natural Colored Diamond Association (NCDIA), and a member of the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF).
Harsh Maheshwari, executive director Kunming Diamonds said, “We are delighted to be part of Argyle’s legacy in this historical moment, acquiring the Once in a Blue Moon collection. We cherish becoming the custodians of the final Australian treasures from this iconic and industry-defining mine, and look forward to unearthing the incredible possibilities in the years to come.”