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An Auction that sparkles: What is a Gemstone Tender?

Major mining companies, from Russian mining giant ALROSA to British-based Gem diamonds, are increasingly adding tenders – or auctions – as a way to sell their rough and polished diamonds. Diamonds are also sold through direct negotiations and the sightholder systems.



Through the years, some tenders have become must-attend events in the diamond industry. The Argyle diamond mine, for instance, the largest producer in the world by volume, holds small collection of the best pink diamonds every year, known as the Argyle Pink Diamond Tender. The invitation-only tender event is a highlight of the colored diamond industry’s calendar.



In October 2014, Rio Tinto, owner and operator of Argyle diamond mine, held the annual tender in Australia, achieving the highest average price per carat since the tender began in the 80s. The 2014 tender included 54 rare pink and red diamonds to celebrate the tender’s 30th year.

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