How rare are argyle pink diamonds, and what are they?

Sep 10, 2021 | Diamonds

While most diamonds you will see are white, these lustrous gems come in a range of colours. The rarest and most beautiful of these, however, is the Argyle pink diamond. The scarcity and stunning appearance of natural pink diamonds make them highly sought after and, with the closure of Australia’s Argyle mines, they are set to become even more valuable.

What gives pink diamonds their colour?

These days, we know how most coloured diamonds get their colour. When trace elements interact with the carbon atoms during the diamond’s formation, they result in the colours we see. And so traces of chemical elements like boron, sulphur and nitrogen can colour a diamond blue, green or yellow.

When it comes to pink diamonds, however, their origin is still a mystery. Trace elements have never been found in these coloured diamonds. Instead, scientists have theorised that the colour is formed due to a phenomenon called “plastic deformation”. This occurs when the diamond’s crystal lattice is distorted by intense heat and pressure from all directions as it’s forced to the earth’s surface. This distortion displaces the carbon atoms from their usual positions and forces the stone to absorb and reflect light differently – causing the pink hue.

How rare are pink diamonds? 

Although pink diamonds have historically been found in countries like South Africa, Canada, Russia, Brazil and India, 90% of the world’s supply of natural pink diamonds came from the Argyle Mine in Western Australia. Although they have now ceased production, the mine was owned by Rio Tinto and sat on the traditional land of the Gidja, Malgnin, Miriuwung and Wularr people in the Eastern Kimberley region of Western Australia.

According to the ABC, “the most rare and valuable of the mine’s coloured diamond production are offered each year in the Argyle Pink Diamond Tender”. And, although Argyle provided 90% of the world’s pink diamonds, these stunning jewels actually made up less than 1% of their output. Each year, only 50-60 stones were selected for tender – an amount so small you could fit it in the palm of your hand.

Basically, for every one million carats of rough diamonds mined, only one carat of pink diamonds would be suitable for selling. This scarcity means that these are among the most coveted diamonds in the world.

How valuable are pink diamonds? 

There is a finite amount of pink diamonds in the world, and it’s estimated that only another 500 “gem-quality” jewels are yet to be discovered. Due to its rarity, a pink diamond can cost up to 20 times its white equivalent. In fact, the Argyle Mine states that “one carat pink diamond can cost from $100,000 up to $1 million”.

Are Argyle pink diamonds increasing in value?

As it stands, Rio Tinto states that the “value of Argyle pink diamonds sold at Tender has appreciated over 500 per cent over the past two decades, outperforming all major equity markets.” Moreover, with the closure of the Argyle Mine in November 2020, the value of Argyle pink diamonds will only increase.

Anna Cisecki, head of the Australian Diamond Portfolio, has said since the Argyle mine ceased production in November, demand had never been higher. “Pink diamonds have out-performed virtually all of your traditional asset classes over the past 10 to 15 years. They’ve done better than the stock market, property, precious metals and really do present a very stable asset class.”

Is it worth buying Argyle Diamonds? 

Cisecki also states, “Since the announcement that the mine has ceased operating, we’ve seen an almost 50 per cent uptick in demand in the first half of this year.” So, if you’re thinking of buying a pink diamond, it will be a worthy investment. However, even without their monetary value, these beautiful gems are stunning and will be beautiful family heirlooms for years to come.

Are you looking for a gorgeous pink diamond engagement ring? Get in touch with the team at Max Diamonds today or visit us in-store.

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