12 Feb The Allure of Pink Diamonds
Pink diamonds! What’s all the fuss about?
If, like me, you are passionate about diamonds and you like a splash of colour and, added to that, you value ‘rarity’, then natural pink diamonds are a topic worth exploring.
Let’s start with ‘rarity’ and the reasons why diamonds are relatively scarce and why coloured diamonds are even more so. Gem quality diamonds of any colour are a rare commodity, and occur predominantly as white to off-yellow in colour. The environmental conditions under which they are formed are extraordinarily unique, crystallising at great temperatures (900°C – 1300°C) and under immense pressures (45 – 60kbars) during subterranean events hundreds of millions of years ago. It is only after periods of geological time that the volcanic rocks in which they crystallise are exposed at the earth’s surface via agents of erosion and denudation. The occurrence of diamonds are therefore extremely localised and dotted around the earth in very few places, often requiring expensive state-of-the-art technology to extract.
Courtesy of Rio Tinto
Rarity of Pink diamonds
Naturally coloured pink diamonds are even rarer, simply by the very nature of the process of coloration; which is caused by the structural deformation of their molecular lattice whilst in a semi-stable state during the crystallization process.
Understandably, the occurrence of pink diamonds is limited to only a few places in the world and one of the world’s most prominent producers of fine pink diamonds is the Argyle mine in the remote region of Kimberley in NW Australia.
This mine is responsible for producing 90% -95% of the world’s gem quality pink diamonds, a figure all the more astonishing, when the total production of pinks at Argyle represents less than 1/10th of 1 percent of Argyle’s annual diamond production. Of the finest pinks produced each year, a small number are put up for tender, revealed at private viewings with prospective buyers placing sealed bids for them. The pink diamonds suitable for tender are generally more than half a carat in size and for every million carats of rough diamonds produced at Argyle, less than one carat’s worth will be suitable for the Tender. The Tender for 2013 included only 56 pink diamonds.
It is worth highlighting that the Argyle mine will soon run out of the diamondiferous ore that bears these pink diamonds. It is already switching its operation from open pit to tunnelling and ‘block-caving’ techniques, in order to extend the life of the mine to 2020. After this date, pink diamond supply will be extremely limited and there is no doubt that investors, jewellers and their customers will continue to prize them, not only for their provenance and intrinsic beauty but for their extreme rarity!
The Argyle Diamond mine is the world’s primary source of rare pink diamonds which attract on average 20 times the price of an equivalent white diamond. The most valuable diamond from last year’s Argyle Pink diamond Tender was the Argyle Siren, (pictured above), a 1.32ct square radiant-cut fancy vivid purplish pink diamond, valued at over US$2 million.
For more information and enquiries regarding the the availabilty and prices of natural pink diamonds, do contact Kernow facets Limited at firstname.lastname@example.org