Whether you need a pink diamond as a gift or as an investment asset, the first thing a dealer, such as Argyle Diamond Investments, for example, will ask you, is what grade of gem you are looking for. Pink diamonds are unlike traditional, readily available diamonds – they are rare due to limited production and dwindling reserves.
About 10% of the world’s pink diamonds come from Brazil, India, Siberia, and South Africa and the remaining 90% come from the Argyle diamond mine in the Kimberly Region of Western Australia. However, the Argyle mine was recently closed, meaning that it will be more challenging for you to obtain that pink diamond you have been waiting to obtain.
Furthermore, if you do manage to get your hands on one you may have to part with a good amount of money. As of now, a pink diamond of similar quality and size is about 30 times the price of a white diamond.
How Are Pink Diamonds Graded?
For most people, colour intensity is the first consideration when buying a pink diamond. This is because the more intense the gem is, the more beautiful, and therefore valuable, it is. Two main systems have been developed to grade the colour level of pink diamonds, in addition to the grading systems of Carat, Clarity and Cut.
The two standard pink diamond colour grading scales are the Argyle Colour Scale and the GIA diamond grading system. While the GIA grading scale is universal and used to grade other coloured diamonds, the Argyle colour scale is mainly used to grade diamonds from the Argyle mine, particularly pink diamonds, although it can be used to grade pink champagne and blue-violet diamonds. So, how do these scales work?
The GIA Grading Scale
If you have ever shopped for a diamond, the chances are that you have come across the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grading scale. The GIA method describes diamonds in terms of hue, tone, and saturation:
- Hue is the diamond’s dominant or characteristic colour
- Tone is the lightness or darkness of this colour
- Saturation refers to the colours strength or depth
The GIA diamond colour grading report was established in the 1940s. Robert M Shipley, GIA founder and retail jeweller wanted to professionalise the diamond industry. He formed GIA to offer formal training to jewellers, establishing a system of ethics and standards in commodity trading. To assist his student in understanding diamond’s characteristics, Shipley developed the 4Cs of diamond grading.
The GIA colour scale evaluates white and coloured diamonds. White diamonds are graded into five categories:
- D – F: Colourless or white diamonds
- G – J: Near-colourless stones
- K – M: Faint Yellow
- N – R: Very Light Yellow
- S – Z: Light Yellow
From this scale, it is evident that the lower you go from D, the more tinted the diamond becomes.
The GIA Colour Scale
The GIA has a different scale for grading coloured or fancy-colour diamonds. This scale is universal and can be used to grade any colour. The GIA scale grades fancy-colour diamonds on the following scales:
- Very Light
- Fancy Light
- Fancy Intense
- Fancy Vivid
- Fancy Dark
- Fancy Deep
To allocate a grade to a stone using the GIA Colour Scale, the hue is selected, then the tone and saturation are described using the above terms. For instance, if the stone’s hue is judged as Fancy Vivid, the pink diamond’s grade will be described as Fancy Vivid Pink. However, if the stone has a secondary colour, the suffix “-ish” is added to the secondary colour description. For instance, Fancy Vivid Brownish Pink.
The Argyle Grading Method
The Argyle mine is the World’s leading pink diamond producer, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that it has its own grading method. The Argyle Grading System groups pink diamonds into three hues, denoting colour variation. The hues are:
- Pink (P)
- Purplish Pink (PP)
- Pink Rose (PR)
Each hue is also graded using numbers 1 to 9, denoting the intensity of the pink colour. For instance, Purplish Pink (PP) are graded 9PP to 1PP, meaning 9PP is the lowest grade for the hue. The concept also applies to the other two hues.
There is one exception to this rule, Blue Violet (BL) and Pink Champagne (PC) diamonds. These two diamond colours are graded using numbers 1 to 3, with the higher number representing the more saturated hue.
Own Your Very Own Pink Diamond
If you are considering a Pink Diamond as an investment of as a gift, look no further than Argyle Diamond Investments to guide you. We supply wholesale Pink Diamonds directly to you, collaborating with the world’s largest pink diamond authorised partners. Reach us at argylediamondinvestments.com.au or call us on 02 4927 0000 to take that next step on your Pink Diamond journey.