London-based diversified miner Rio Tinto (LON & NYSE:RIO) is donating the biggest pink rough diamond ever discovered, found earlier this year at its Argyle mine, to an Australian museum in Melbourne, reports The West.
The newspaper claims that the diamond, named Argyle Pink Jubilee, has been cut and polished down to a “disappointing” eight carats, from its original 12.76 carats.
The Argyle Pink Jubilee is a light pink diamond, similar in colour to The Williamson Pink, which is the diamond that Queen Victoria received as a wedding gift and was subsequently set into a brooch for her Coronation.
Initially estimated to be worth around $12 million, the cutting process has highlighted a number of internal flaws in the rock, which have severely affected its value. That would be the reason, The West argues, Rio is donating the diamond to Museum Victoria.
"The individual who gets to wear this remarkable pink diamond will be incredibly lucky indeed," Argyle pink diamonds manager Josephine Johnson stated, according to Diamond News.
She went on to say that it is unprecedented in the company's history.
"It has taken 26 years of Argyle production to unearth this stone and we may never see one like this again."
Rio Tinto operates three diamond mines, the 100%-owned Argyle in Australia, 60%-owned Diavik in northern Canada, and Murowa in Zimbabwe, of which it has a 78% interest. Rio also has an advanced diamond project in India.
Last year Rio Tinto's diamond business lost $76 million, including over $300 million in net impairments relating to capital costs needed to complete the Argyle underground project.
Image: Rio Tinto’s presentation on Argyle diamonds.