APAPORT... Rio Tinto witnessed strong bidding for its recent sale of rough diamonds larger than 10.8 carats.

The company offered 94 parcels of diamonds in the tender, including 26 weighing more than 20 carats. "[The diamonds] attracted very strong bidding and global participation, including Rio Tinto’s select diamantaires, who were among the 29 successful companies,” said Patrick Coppens, general manager of sales for Rio Tinto Diamonds. 

The most expensive diamond, Diavik Selene (pictured), an extraordinary white gem weighing more than 22 carats, was sold to specialist Israeli diamond company, Eshed Diam. 

Rio Tinto offered rough diamonds from a year’s worth of production from its three operating diamond mines in Australia, Canada and Zimbabwe in the "specials tender.” The tender included a large number of fancy colored diamonds.

“The strong participation and results of this specials tender, as well as the recently concluded Argyle pink diamond tender, demonstrates the consistent demand and competition for rare and valuable diamonds,” Coppens noted.