For centuries pink diamonds have been one of the most sought after gems. In 2009 160 million carats of rough diamonds were produced worldwide, of theses only 30,000 carats were rough pink crystals. Pink diamonds are 3% of the production of diamonds. Pink diamonds have only been found in a few mines across the world. The Rich Golconda River in India, Brazil and Tanzania all produced notable diamonds in the 17th and 18th centuries and in Australia in the 20th and 21st century.
There is no trace element that causes the pink color. The color arises from extreme pressure when the diamond was formed. The pink diamonds from the Argyle Mine have been dated back to more than one billion years old. It is understood that the lattice of the diamond has been altered by extreme geological forces to produce a unique structure that absorbs light in such a way that the diamond assumes a pink hue.
Today pink diamonds are found in the Argyle Diamond Mine in western Australia and this mine is the source for the world's entire production of pink diamonds. A whole year of intense pink diamond production can be held in the palm of one hand. Since 1984 once a year Argyle Diamond Mine and its parent company Rio Tinto issues a release of its finest pink diamonds, referred to as the Argyle Pink Diamond Tender. There Tender is a collection of 40 – 55 pink diamonds each weighing more than .50ct. and certified by two independent gemological laboratories. This release of pink diamonds is a highlight of the diamond industry calendar. These diamonds are truly "one in a million". Of the million carats of rough produced at the Argyle Diamond Mine one carat of polished pink diamond is produced. It is forecast that there is about 10 years of production left in the Argyle Diamond Mine, anticipating approximately 500 pink diamonds to be discovered that qualify for the Tender. Rio Tinto markets the remaining pink diamonds that are not sold through the Tender. These diamonds come in a full range of pinks are sold as loose polished diamonds throughout the year.
The Argyle Diamond Mine is located in Western Australia and Rio Tinto are visitors in the region, who have worked in partnership with the Traditional Owners of the land to ensure that the wealth is given back to the region. The Argyle Diamond Mine employs approximately 135 indigenous workers, 26% of all employees. The wealth generated from Argyle pink diamonds is being used to fund many health, education and business opportunities for the Traditional Owners of the land, which will give the capacity for the people of the region to create their own future even beyond the mine's production.
The rarity of pink diamonds is reflected in their price. Medium quality pink diamonds are generally ten times the value of comparable white diamonds. The gap widens for the higher quality pink diamonds to twenty and fifty times the value of comparable white diamonds. Due to the rarity of pink diamonds, as well as other natural color diamonds, they become more collectable and the value usually increases over time.
We at Thomas Michaels Designers often work with natural color pink diamonds, whether they be tiny full cut diamonds pavé set in fields of rose gold or major pink radiant or oval cuts highlighted as a centerpiece in a three stone ring with white side diamonds.