Natural Argyle Diamond: Where They are from and What You Should Know About
Argyle diamonds are more commonly referred to as pink diamonds, or more precisely are a type of pink diamonds.
These are classified as fancy diamonds and consequently are on the rare end of the spectrum. They are quite popular for their composition and account for nearly 80% of the world’s pink diamonds inventory.
They are composed of trace amounts of nitrogen impurities; however, their pink color is mainly due to structural defects in their crystalline lattice.
History and Origin
True to their name the argyle diamonds are found in the Argyle mine located in Kimberly, West Australia. However, not all the diamonds found here are pink, as the color itself is rare. The unique composition of the argyle diamonds is mainly due to what is known as an Argyle pipe.
It is a sort of volcanic pipe made up of olivine lamproite. Whenever a volcanic eruption occurs, the minerals such as zeolite, kaolinite, and micas interact with the diamonds to give them their composition. The only mine in Australia is owned by the Rio Tinto Mining Corporation, where they only mine diamonds. They are responsible for about 90% of the world’s pink diamonds supply.
They are also known to hold an invitation-only Argyle Pink Diamond Tender wherein they showcase their collection of the best fancy diamonds from the collection of the previous year.
Rio Tinto is regarded as one of the leading mining companies for fancy diamonds. They are unmatched in their quality and service. They are so well renowned, that they managed to come up with an entirely separate color grading system for argyle pink diamonds, which is well accepted all over the world.
Comparing Argyle pink diamonds with those that are mined in other geographical locations such as Russia, you can observe the decrement in their color grades. Diamonds of different origins differ in their color tones.
Argyle Pink Diamonds originated in Kimberly tend to have a unique color tone which falls in the range of red, purple, and blue whereas a pink bubblegum color tone can be seen for argyle diamonds mined at other locations, but they too have a brilliant appearance. Very rarely are red diamonds found at such mining locations thus making red diamonds regarded as the rarest of argyle diamonds
Argyle pink color grading system
The Argyle pink diamonds have a color grading system of their own which was established by the Rio Tinto Mining Corporation. Their grading system is not similar to the Gemological International American (GIA) grading system which grades their diamonds on a range of “colorless” to “yellow” color.
Also Read: Why Are Pink Diamond So Rare And Exclusive?
This grading system narrows down the Argyle pink color tone and its intensity to a more specific degree compared to the GIA’s classification. The Argyle pink diamonds are first divided into the following four categories:
- PP (purplish pink)
- P (pink)
- PR (pink rose)
- PC (Pink champagne)
Then these diamonds are subdivided based on the intensity of their color. The intensity scale ranges from 1 – 9. with 1 being the highest and 9 the lowest.
Below are the various categories of color grades available in the market:
- PP (purplish pink) – 9PP, 8PP, 7PP, 6PP,5PP,4PP,3PP,2PP,1PP
- P (pink) – 9P, 9P,7P,5P,4P,3P,2P,1P
- PR (Pink rose) – 9PR, 8PR,7PR, 6PR, 5PR, 4PR,3PR, 2PR,1PR
- PC (pink champagne) – PC1, PC2, PC3, PC4
- BL (blue violet) – BL1, BL2.BL3.BL4
- Red and purplish-red
What makes the argyle diamond so famous?
The Argyle pink diamond has always been rare that this rarity adds to their high premiums and expensive cost. However, in the past few decades, there has been a steady decline in the mining of the argyle pink diamonds, adding more to their value.
Their supply is even slower these days compared to the ’80s and the ’90s, along with a clear decline in the quality of argyle pink diamonds. They now come in smaller carat sizes and lower clarity grades. Argyle diamonds with an intensive color are even rarer to come across these days.
People these days are more aware of fancy stones and are no longer amazed by the near-colorless brilliant diamonds. These fancy diamonds have piqued the attention of the masses. Hence the rarer the diamonds the more they are in demand. And the more they are in demand, the more is their cost. It is quite a simple unilateral relationship honestly.
These diamonds have become even more so popular as they have come in contact with many private collectors and investors alike. Fancy diamonds are now considered a good investment as their value is only expected to undergo an excremental increase in the next few decades.
Why everyone purchases the argyle diamond?
Well along with it being extremely rare, the argyle Mines are set to close by the end of 2020. Thus shooting the average price per carat up to the highest it has ever been. But with the impending closure of the mines, the prices of the argyle pink are unquestionably bound to rise dramatically post the closure of the mines.
Hence it is perhaps the best time to purchase a diamond which would soon be considered as a vintage piece.
How to choose the right argyle diamond?
To purchase the right diamond, it is paramount that you keep in mind the 4c’s of the diamond which are cut, carat, clarity, and color. However, the order of their preference changes for fancy diamonds.
Also Read: All You Need To Know About Rustic Diamond.
Unlike colorless diamonds, color is the most important character trait of argyle diamonds or any fancy diamond for that matter. The intensity of the color is the price and value determining factor of the diamond. Next in priority is the carat size and the clarity of the diamond. The cut is important but is perhaps the least noticed trait. When it comes to purchasing stones for investment, it is always best to go for the highest color grade available and the largest carat weight you can afford.
The price range of Argyle diamond
The Argyle diamonds possess a unique color which makes them rare and pricier compared to colorless diamonds. Their reputation exceeds any other diamond out there. Their color is the price-determining factor here, the more unique the color, the more expensive the diamond. The greater the intensity, the greater the number of zeroes. High-intensity pink argyle diamonds are the most expensive since they are the rarest.
The purity of the color plays an important role in the pricing of the diamond. Since the color of argyle diamonds are considerably purer and they rarely come with tertiary color tones. Sometimes you can find secondary colors in them.
Considering the low supply of Argyle diamonds, their increasing demand, and the closure of the mines, their prices are bound to go uphill from here.
Argyle diamonds which are certified are even more expensive than regular pink diamonds. For example, A 1ct fancy pink diamond could cost roughly $140,000 to $180,000, depending on the intensity of its color. A very similar argyle diamond would have a starting price of $200,000 and would only go up from there. The price difference between the two is significant.
The Argyle alpha
The argyle alpha is a popular stone discovered in the year 2018 at the Kimberly Argyle mines. Living up to its name it is one of the largest vivid pink diamonds ever discovered on this earth.
It has a massive carat weight size of 3.14ct and has an emerald cut. It is now a member of the 63 extremely pink, red, and violet fancy colored diamond
Popular ring setting
THE HALO SETTING
A halo setting is meant to enhance the appearance of a diamond, making it appear larger than its actual carat weight. It does the same for argyle diamonds as well. If you have an argyle with a smaller carat and size, you can always go for the halo setting to make it appear larger.
This setting adds various accents to your ring, and you can choose multiple smaller stones of any range to complement your argyle diamond. This diamond is definitely on the pricier end but is also bound to be loved by all.
This setting uses pressure to secure the diamond on your finger so that the argyle can stand on its own. It is perfect for anyone who wishes their argyle to stand out under a spotlight without any accentuating features in the ring.
The argyle pink diamonds are the rarest fancy diamonds and hence the most expensive. The imminent closure of the argyle mines has greatly increased the value of the argyle stone and made it a great asset for investors and collectors.
Unless you wish to purchase a unique antique ring, a non-branded pink diamond ring is most likely the next best thing, as the price difference between them is of a significant few hundred thousand dollars. These are less popular as engagement rings and more for collector’s purpose.