Pink Argyle diamonds are a rare commodity and a breed apart in the diamond family. They were first discovered in India in the Kollur mines in the 16th century and were subsequently discovered in the 17th and 18th century in the Minas Gerais region of Brazil. However, at present, about 80% of the world’s production of pink diamonds are found in the Argyle Mine, Kimberley, Western Australia.
The reason behind the rarity and the high cost of pink diamonds from Argyle can be gauged from the fact that of the 20 million annual carat output of the mine, only 0.1% are classified as pink diamonds. The world largely depends on pink Argyle diamonds for its supply of this rare type of diamonds. After the diamonds are cut and polished, the quantity becomes even smaller and hard to come by pushing up its exclusivity still further. Hence, pink diamond engagement rings are not only a unique gift of love and passion but a safe investment for the future also.
There are numerous theories on the origin of pink diamonds. The general hypothesis is that pink diamonds are a result of extreme and often violent pressures on the earth. A different theory is given for Argyle pink diamonds. It is thought that a seismic shock pushed colourless diamonds to the surface thereby altering their molecular structure and turning them pink.
The Rio Tinto Group owns the Argyle Mine in Kimberley. They also have a controlling interest in the Diavik Diamond Mine in Canada and the Murowa Diamond Mine in Zimbabwe. However, the Kimberley Argyle Mine is the world’s largest diamond producer by volume. It is the only commercially and economically viable producer of pink and red diamonds in the world as well as a significant proportion of other naturally coloured diamonds such as cognac, champagne and the very scarce blue diamonds.
It takes over a year and the collective efforts of many individuals to complete the process of bringing Argyle pink diamonds from an almost billion-year-old rough stone to a setting on an exquisitely manufactured piece of jewellery. The company employs Fair Trade Practices as laid down by the Responsible Jewellery Council of which Rio Tinto the owner of the Argyle Mine is a founding member. It is an assurance that every certified pink diamond from the mine in Australia is ethically sound and sustainable in addition to its beauty and rarity. This attribute has led pink Argyle diamonds to be awarded the prestigious Butterfly Mark accreditation by Positive Luxury in 2017.
The uniqueness of pink diamonds from the Argyle mines lies in the certification programme initiated by the company in 2005 for its diamonds over 0.20 carats (twenty points) and for other gems over 0.15 carats (fifteen points) in 2009. These diamonds have a unique identification and lot number that is inscribed by laser on the girdle of the stone which is only visible under high magnifications. They also come with an Argyle Pink Diamonds Gem identification and Authenticity Document. Hence if you buy an Argyle pink diamond engagement ring from a leading jewellery store in Australia, say the Australian Diamond Company showroom in Melbourne, this certification is an assurance of the authenticity of the stone.
It is tough to find a pink diamond produced outside the Argyle mines that can match it for brilliance, luminescence and intensity of colour.