March 31, 2020

Pink Diamonds

The first recording of a pink diamond was in 1642 by the merchant and adventurer Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, having reported to have been shown a "200 carat rough pink diamond" in the legendary Golconda Kingdom, worth 600,000 rupees at the time. This is still considered the largest rough pink diamond recorded to date.

BA 2

A round brilliant cut diamond, flanked by fancy pink pears from the Argyle Mine

How are pink diamonds formed?

Often evoking a sense of romance and mystery, pink diamonds have soared in popularity over the past few years, but how are pink diamonds formed?

Little is known about the source of the colour seen in these gems, however, the main theory is a structural alteration to the diamond on a molecular level.

If a diamond undergoes plastic deformation, by which, a formed diamond is subjected to an extreme amount of pressure, therefore shifting the carbon lattice structure and causing the light refracting through the stone to give out a pink hue.

RT Argyle landscape

Where are pink diamonds found?

The most famous producer of pink diamonds is the Argyle mine in Western Australia. For over 30 years this mine has produced nearly 90% of the world’ pink diamonds, producing a few thousand carats per year, only a drop in the ocean when compared with the mine producing 650 million carats total (mixed diamonds) in its history. Natural pink diamonds can also be found in Brazil, Canada, Russia, Siberia, South Africa, and Tanzania.

Before the steady source of the Argyle mine opened, pink diamonds were such a rarity that they were sold privately and only a select few who were in the know could add the incredible gem to their collection. Today, the Argyle mine’s owners, Rio Tinto, holds yearly “tenders”, where buyers from top brands and representatives of private collectors can purchase straight from the source.

How are pink diamonds graded?

Fancy Pink coloured diamonds are graded in the same way as their fancy coloured cousins: faint, very light, light, fancy light, fancy intense, fancy deep and fancy vivid. The more saturated the colour of the diamond, the higher the price.

With closure of the Argyle mine in November 2020, the demand for pink diamonds is only going to increase.

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