Rio Tinto has donated “a significant sample” of Australian rough diamonds to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, the world’s largest museum and research complex which is home to the most notable diamonds and diamond jewellery in the world.
Comprising 500 carats of rough diamonds from Rio Tinto’s Argyle Diamond Mine, Rio Tinto’s donation will be used by the Smithsonian for exhibiting and research purposes.
Dr Jeff Post, curator of the Smithsonian’s National Gem and Mineral Collection, said Rio Tinto’s “generous donation” was “a significant addition” to the Institution’s gem collection.
“It will allow us to study in more detail, the unique properties of diamonds from one of the world’s great ore bodies,” he said.
Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh said the company was honoured to partner with such an esteemed scientific institution as the Smithsonian.
“We are proud to share Rio Tinto’s story of our unique Argyle diamonds,” he said.
“This donation of Argyle diamonds represents an important piece of Australian mining history and we hope that it will be enjoyed by millions of people for many years to come.”
He added that the Smithsonian would be “particularly focused on researching the origin of the pink colour in Argyle diamonds”.