Rare red diamond 'Argyle Cardinal' from Rio Tinto mine in Western Australia sells for record price in international tender

An extremely rare 'fancy red' diamond from the Argyle mine in Western Australia's far north-east Kimberley regions has been sold for a record price to Glenn Bakker Jewels in Victoria.

Miner Rio Tinto won't disclose the sale price of the 1.21 carat radiant-cut red diamond, which was one of 54 pink and red diamonds sold by international tender.

The overall price for Argyle pink diamonds has tripled since 2000

Jean-Marc Lieberherr, MD, Rio Tinto Diamonds

However, it did reveal the collection attracted the highest average price per carat since it started the yearly tender process in Antwerp, Belgium, 30 years ago.

Known as the 'Argyle Cardinal', the red diamond was is one of only 13 ever sold during that time and only three of them have been larger than one carat.

Buyer Glenn Bakker says he's yet to decide what he will do with the Argyle Cardinal and is 'just enjoying the moment' of owning it.

"This red diamond is of exceptional rarity and, as its custodian, I am humbled to be part of its incredible journey that spans more than 1.6 billion years."

Rio Tinto Diamonds managing director Jean-Marc Lieberherr says the overall price for the Argyle pink diamonds has more than tripled since 2000.

In 2012, a tender of pink, red and blue diamonds travelled the world and was taken to Kensington Palace in London for the Queen's Jubilee celebrations.

Three years earlier, Rio Tinto released its 'Blue Moon Collection' of blue diamonds, amongst the rarest of their kind in the world.