The 2019 Argyle Tender is most likely to be the 2nd to last tender to be offered. The 64 diamond collection with a total of 56.28 carats is considered the rarest of the rare that comes out yearly from the Argyle mine during the year.
This year, one of the most eye popping element in the tender is the fact that over 20 diamonds are in the 1.00 carat + category. That is between 1.00 and 1.50. If we took all of those over 1.00 carat we would find that 26 of them are above 1.00 carats; the highest in over 10 years. Only in 2008, there were a total of 30 diamonds over the 1.00 carat weight. The average weight was 0.88 carats, compared to 0.82 last year and 0.85 the year before. In 2016, the average weight was above 0.90 and was held at 0.92 carats, which was not produced since 2008 when the average was a high of 0.98 carats.
This year, like the last 3 years the distribution of clarities is the same and is concentrated at the SI level. There were 29 out of 64 in SI, while in the VS there were 16 diamonds and 18 in the I clarity. The last time higher clarity average was in 2016, where 27 diamonds had VS clarity while 18 in the SI and 10 in the I clarity.
This year, only 3 straight red diamonds were produced, and no purplish red diamonds. Last year there were 5 straight red diamonds and 2 purplish red and the year prior there were 4 and 4 respectively.
This year, there were 31 vivid pink diamonds hat came out of argyle. This is the highest number of diamonds with this color intensity in the history of the tender. The closest was 23 in 2016. There were also 13 deep pink diamonds and 17 fancy intense. No fancy pink were offered. This means that the argyle polishers were able to maximise the color better (on average). Many of the deep pinks are potentially improvable to red diamonds. There were no blue or any other colors offered this year.
Except for 2016, this year has had the highest total weight of 56.28, in the last 10 years. In 2016 the total weight was 58.24. This year 48% of the diamonds at tender were above 0.75 carats while 52% were below the 0.75 carat weight. Similar trends happened in the previous 2 years. This year we had 41% of diamonds above the 1.00 carat weight, and this has not happened since 2008 when that year was 47% of diamonds above the 1.00 carat.
It seems that next year, the 2020 tender is probably the last tender since Argyle announced the closing of the mine before the end of the year. I hope and expect the tender to be the super duper of all tenders, but you never know. If it does not happen this way, I know many will be disappointed and will remember the Argyle mine going down history with a bad taste left over…