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Argyle Pink Jubilee Diamond.

She's exquisite, glamorous, sought-after, well travelled, very expensive and she sparkles in any setting.

She's Australian and quite old - 1.6 billion years - but she has aged very well.

It's not easy to get your hands on an Argyle pink diamond but if you do, be warned, she may put you under her spell.

Once a year though, Rio Tinto, which owns the Argyle Diamond mine in the rugged East Kimberley region, holds an exclusive auction known as the Tender.

It's invitation-only to 150 of the world's leading diamantaires and diamond jewellers, including some in Australia, to bid on these very precious crystals.

There are the white, champagne even cognac-coloured diamonds mined at Argyle, but pink are the world's most sought-after gems, costing from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars per carat.

This year's collection consists of 56 single pink diamonds, including two red diamonds and 19 lots of blue diamonds.

"We're calling it the rainbow tender, because it's the first time we're presenting reds, blues, violets and pinks in the same tender - so it's extraordinary," says Josephine Johnson, manager of Argyle Pink Diamonds.

The Tender always opens in Perth and then travels to two international locations; this year Hong Kong and then London.

Johnson says the response to the 2012 Tender has been phenomenal.

"There's a really nice range of very high-clarity diamonds," she says.

"There are some incredibly captivating diamonds on the table. The hero is the Siren and she will be hotly contested."

The Siren she is talking about is a 1.32 carat square radiant cut Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink diamond, whereas another hero this year has been christened Satine, a 1.02 carat cushion cut Fancy Intense Purplish Pink diamond. (For the non-diamond experts, everything not round is called Fancy.)

All the diamonds are packaged individually in smart black boxes with a glass top. Each diamond has a lot number, its carat, shape, an Argyle grading, as well as the international GIA diamond grading.

In a smart black office in Perth, sitting on a long sleek black table are the 75 boxes containing the jewels - a large arrangement of stunning pink flowers in the corner highlights the colour theme of the collection.

Security, as you can imagine is very tight, all jewellery you are wearing is closely checked, and there are plenty of security doors to pass through - it's all very hi-tech giving the entry a very James Bond-like feel.

One of the 150 invitees is Sydney jeweller Olivar Musson, who buys for the family business. He sits at the end of the table under a bright lamp where he has two hours to look, analyse and take notes.

Holding his loop (which magnifies at 10-times) he looks at the key characteristics - colour, clarity, carat and cut - of the diamonds he's interested in.

The red diamonds in the Tender have added another level of exclusivity this year - in 26 years only 33 red diamonds have been found at the Argyle mine.

"Red diamonds, stratospherically, are more expensive than pink diamonds," Johnson says.

"A red diamond was sold a couple of years called Aphrodite for well in excess of $1 million per carat - and that was wholesale."

A good blue diamond is comparable to a good pink diamond, but because of their elusiveness on the market, Johnson says they are undervalued.

"They are tightly held by collectors and they don't really circulate. They are rarer than pink," she says.

She says this collection is the second time only there has been a selection of blue diamonds, hence its title "Once in a Blue Moon", which comprises the blue and violet diamonds christened Allure, Elektra and Heloise.

Johnson says clients are never late and there have never been any cancellations either.

It sounds like a conversation at a lolly shop with Musson talking about the different shades such as Candy Floss, Bubblegum, Raspberry and Pink Ice.

"Everyone buys differently - I buy on beauty," Musson says.

"With pinks I set them into pieces but I also hold them loose, because they are so unique that we tend to cultivate clients who then want to use them in different pieces."

Musson says his clients are from both Australia and overseas.

Because pink diamonds come from Australia, he says the access has always been better than any other world markets.

"We've always had great stock - and we've been very spoilt," Musson says.

Musson's father, Robert, has been dealing with Argyle Diamond Mine since it started the Tender process in 1984.

"It's very, very competitive at tender now," he says.

Japan, the US and Europe have been the main markets says Johnson, but in recent years China and India have quickly realised the value of the pink diamonds.

Musson admits that he and his father find it hard to let go of some of the diamonds he has acquired at past Tenders.

He says he feels very attached to certain pinks, but both father and son are quickly reminded by Mrs Musson that they are not collectors, they are retailers.

"You get attached to them for so many reasons and then when you sell them you get seller's remorse," he says.

Johnson, who wears a pair of pink diamond earrings, says pink diamonds are emotionally incredibly appealing because they are intrinsically beautiful: "You can't get anything more romantic than a diamond that is pink."

The rare pink diamonds are seen more like art and collectables, she says.

"Some are held as collectables, some sit in the box in the safe, others will be set in jewellery," Johnson says.

But before these pinks continue on their next voyage, they've already travelled quite a bit.

After leaving the mine they are known as rough diamonds and are sent to Antwerp to be sorted.

Back in Perth, it's in the hands of a rough diamond technician such as Stuart Monkhouse.

As he says from his glass office, it's where the science meets art.

The rough is analysed and scanned as a 3D image to check for inclusions (a process that can take a couple of months) and from that the shape is dictated.

Monkhouse opens a little paper envelope called a Brifka and reveals a 4.658 carat pink that he's working on now for next year's Tender, which he says will be cut into a Princess shape.

The rough pink then moves into probably the most stressful stage of its life, when the polishers cut, shape and make the 58 facets of a diamond.

One of the four Rio Tinto polishers, David, says he doesn't think about the value of what's in his hands.

"Our job is to extract the best possible stone that we can. If you start worrying about the value you'd go bonkers," he says.

The South African, who has been a polisher for 32 years, says mistakes can happen, but it's a job with very little theory and 99 per cent practical experience.

"All facets have to be correct to get the right reflection and exact angles," David says.

Johnson says that when the diamonds are with the polishers, it's very exciting for everyone because it's not until they are finally polished that the true colour is revealed.

They are also quite superstitious; for example they won't start polishing a diamond on a Friday.

"Some days they just leave it because it doesn't feel right. There's no fast turnaround," she says.

It takes about year from when the diamond is mined to when it is a finished polished diamond, which can then move to the next chapter of its life.