Many people think that pink is a common enough colour for a precious stone, but it is actually so uncommon, a high quality one is a hot commodity. Diamonds are usually clear, brownish or yellowish in colour. The pink diamond is so rare; a whole year’s worth of supply can fit in the palm of your hand. That is only over half a carat!
Are you curious why the pink diamond has reached such a high state of demand? Read on to understand what makes a pink diamond so rare.
There are only a few locations in the world where you will find pink diamonds
The Kollur mine in Andhra Pradesh, India is credited as the first mine to produce a first pink diamond. In the 17th and 18th centuries, pink diamonds were found in the Minas Gerais region in Brazil. Diamonds were also located in Russia, South Africa, Canada, Tanzania, and Siberia. Those found in Brazil and South Africa have a secondary colour making them appear a brownish shade.
Presently, in 2020, 90% of the world’s supply of pink diamonds is produced in Australia. The East Kimberley Argyle mine owned by Rio Tinto in the Western Australia produces a small but steady stream of gem-quality coloured diamonds. It is the most popular source that it seems the Argyle name always goes hand in hand with pink diamonds.
Breaking down the numbers, think about this. Around 14 million carats of diamonds are mined, polished and marketed each year. Approximately 0.01% of these are coloured diamonds, and only 0.0001% of the 0.01% are pink diamonds.
Reports started to surface that the Argyle mine would stop its activities by the end of 2020. Rio Tinto did everything to extend the mine’s life, which includes transitioning to underground mining in 2013.
Unfortunately, extraction costs are more expensive as the mine becomes deeper. It ultimately renders the site unviable even though diamonds are still present in the mine.
Rio Tinto announced the start of the 35th Argyle Diamond tender in 2019, and it was one of the last opportunities to purchase newly mined Australian diamonds. The 2019 Argyle Diamond tender offered 64 diamonds, amounting to 56.28 carats.
It is hard to find pink diamonds of significant sizes
Three-quarters of the polished pink diamonds produced by Argyle mine weigh in at less than 0.10 carats. Pink diamonds of significant sizes are quite hard to find. Their formation makes them highly stressed, which means they are prone to fracture and fewer survive to reach the earth’s surface.
Naturally occurring pink diamonds require specific conditions
The colour of other diamonds come from chemical impurities that can absorb light. Blue diamonds contain boron, while yellow diamonds have high concentrations of nitrogen. There were no similar impurities discovered in pink diamonds. Scientists theorised that the pink colour is due to seismic shock, extensive pressure and heat changed these diamond’s molecular structure during formation.
That is, a diamond’s source element, carbon, as it crystallises experiences such intense pressures and heats that it alters the crystal’s structure giving the structure a woodgrain-like appearance. The grains undergo such a tight compression that only pink light is able to slip through the layers and shine from the diamond.
Miners get common diamonds in the kimberlite pipe. Pink diamonds from the Argyle mine are extracted from the volcanic lamproite pipe.
You cannot reproduce the beauty of natural pink diamonds
Pink diamonds are so highly sought after that there are ongoing attempts to reproduce them. The most commonly available of these are colour-enhanced diamonds and diamonds grown in laboratories.
Colour-enhanced diamonds are white diamonds that undergo treatment to change their colour to pink. Experts do not consider these as valuable as a natural gem. Yet they have a different appeal related to inclusions when compared to natural pink diamonds.
A diamond grown in the lab has the same chemical composition as that of a mined diamond, typically grown from a diamond seed. However, This significantly lowers its value. At present, the chemical vapour deposition method is the only effective way to produce an artificial pink coloured diamond.
Pink diamonds are harder to polish
Pink diamonds are more difficult to cut and polish than white ones because of their structure. Experts describe cutting white diamonds as “cutting butter”. Pink diamonds take 3 to 4 times longer to polish because more care needs to be given to shaping a pink diamond without shattering it.
The pink colour of the Argyle diamonds also appears as bands or zones. It takes a lot of skill to cut and polish the diamond to produce its ultimate beauty and colour.
Every pink diamond is unique
Pink diamonds have different shades. The GIA grades them from faint to fancy vivid. Argyle grades them on a scale of 1 to 9. The price of the diamond becomes more expensive as its colour intensifies. That means that a diamond graded as fancy vivid pink is much more expensive than a fancy pink diamond.
Pink diamonds usually have a secondary hue. They can be described as orange-pink, purple-pink or brown-pink. Those that do not have a secondary hue are rare. A clear pink without a secondary hue is valued. A brown secondary hue affects the value but other factors can minimise how much the value drops. On the other hand, a violet-purple secondary hue can make pink diamond’s price rise significantly.
This secondary colour is just one of the reasons you will never see two pink diamonds that look identical.
There is a high demand for pink diamonds
All natural fancy-coloured diamonds are rare. They are unearthed less frequently compared to their colourless counterparts. People describe pink diamonds as feminine and extremely exquisite, which is why many are drawn to purchasing diamond engagement rings.
In addition to their sentimental value, they also provide a great investment opportunity. The investment growth is normally set at around 15%, sometimes even reaching 20%. Over teh last 15 years, prices have not decreased leaving experts to believe they never will.
The demand for pink diamonds has increased substantially over the years. Unfortunately, the supply remains low, and one will need lots of luck and money to lay claim to any valuable pink diamond.
Invest in a pink diamond with Argyle Diamond Investments
Many people are trying to get their hands on these precious stones. It is so highly coveted that many have tried to produce imitation pieces. If you plan to invest in pink diamonds, make sure that you seek the help of an expert.
Argyle Diamond Investments is the leading pink diamond wholesaler in Australia. We collaborate with the world’s biggest Argyle partners. Call us today and let’s discuss how we can help you build your investment.