The Diavik Stars of the Arctic: Rio Tinto and Dominion Diamond Mines have announced that three of their most spectacular diamonds, produced from the jointly-owned Diavik Mine in Northwest Territories, Canada, will be sold at auction on October 25, 2018. The collection is known as "The Diavik Stars of the Arctic" and includes: "Vega of the Arctic", a 177.71-carat diamond which they report is "one of the largest and most valuable gem-quality rough diamonds ever produced in Canada"; "Altair of the Arctic", a 59.10-carat diamond; and, "Capella of the Arctic", a 24.82-carat yellow diamond, which is an extremely rare find. In an average year, the Diavik mine only produces about five large yellow diamonds, representing less than 0.001 percent of annual production. Photo by Rio Tinto.
Every year diamond mining companies find a number of spectacular diamonds. Some of these diamonds are spectacular because of their large size - often weighing hundreds of carats. Such large diamonds might sell for tens of millions of dollars. Others are spectacular because of their color. A red diamond weighing just two carats can sell at an eight-digit price tag. Some are spectacular because of their exceptional quality. The rarity of these stones is what causes them to have such a high value.
Some mining companies make most of their profits from discovering a small number of spectacular diamonds. They find lots of small diamonds too, but a few carats of red or a few carats of violet or a 500-carat diamond can significantly move the price of the company’s stock. These diamonds also attract an enormous amounts of attention. Such is the work and the business of diamond mining.