Globally, the name ‘Argyle’ is synonymous with pink diamonds. In fact the name, referencing that of the famous Western Australian mine, is so closely associated with pink diamonds that many people refer to these stones universally as ‘Argyle diamonds’. During its 37-year operational history, the Argyle mine served as the source of the world’s finest pink diamonds. It was also the source of Argyle tender stones.
So what are tender stones?
The term’s origin can be traced back to the mid-eighties, when Argyle certified pink diamonds held their inaugural annual pink diamond tender. Since its very first year, the event has stood as the very definition of the term ‘exclusive’.
The Argyle certified pink diamond tender is global, and tours the world with a selection of the finest pink diamonds in existence. These have come to be known as tender stones, for obvious reasons. In any year, only around 50 stones will make it into the selection. Of this dazzling collection, the most valuable has taken on the almost mythical title of ‘hero stone’. As the shining star of the annual showcase of tender stones, the hero stone can often carry a value topping US$1M. Naturally then, the Argyle tender collection is not something available for viewing by just anyone.
Argyle’s travelling show of tender stones is exclusive and, in fact, quite secretive. Private viewings are by invitation only, and limited to the most prominent members of the global diamond industry. Argyle carefully oversees the process of bidding, which happens in secret and is undertaken in accordance with a strict timeline. Successful bidders will be presented with their tender stone displayed in a handmade box and also featured in a beautiful book, which must number amongst the most rare and prestigious publications ever to be printed.
Taking all of this into consideration, it might seem that coming into possession of a tender stone is an unlikely eventuality, even for many discerning, high end investors. But there’s value in tender stones that goes beyond exclusive events and secret bidding. For the pink diamond investment market overall, tender stones today serve as an important reference point for value. The prices achieved by tender stones each year are held up against pink diamonds in the open market and compared. Carat weight, cut, colour and other factors are then taken into account in calculating the value of investment quality diamonds. In this way, the annual Argyle certified pink diamond tender serves as an important yardstick used by diamond experts the world over.
The annual Argyle certified pink diamond tender is esoteric of the highest order, the tender stones themselves beyond the reach of the average investor. Yet their impact on the world of pink diamond investments is very real. ‘Benchmark’ is an overused term, yet when valuing this very special luxury investment item, that is precisely the role that tender diamonds play.