Pink diamonds are rare, but far rarer still are large pink diamonds. Only one of the world’s 66 largest diamonds is pink, and over the last 244 years, the international fine arts auction house Christie’s has only auctioned 18 pink diamonds larger than 10 carats. There’s a reason the pink diamond is considered the most beautiful and valuable diamond!
So it was quite big news when Rio Tinto’s 26-year-old Argyle Mine in the Kimberley region of Western Australia recently yielded a 12.76 carat pink diamond – the largest pink diamond ever recorded in Australia. What’s truly amazing, and speaks to how rare pink diamonds of this size are, is the fact that this mine produces 90 percent of pink diamonds for the entire world and has still never come close to yielding one so big.
The Argyle mine was already famous due to the intense colour and clarity of the pink diamonds that have been found there, and this find is yet another fantastic moment for Australia. But with the mine’s life estimated to end in another decade or so, Argyle Diamonds’ Josephine Johnson says not to expect any further pink diamonds of this miraculous size from the same place.
The Last of the “Giant” Pink Diamonds?
If this is truly the last pink diamond of this size that we’re likely to see from this mine, and 90 percent of pink diamonds in the world come from there, could it be that this is the last “giant” pink diamond the world will discover?
Obviously there is no definitive answer to that question, but the closure of a mine responsible for such a high percentage of the world’s pink diamonds brings with it its own questions: How will demand be met? Where will people get the pink diamonds they crave?
Global desire for pink diamonds has only increased in recent years, with many being used in engagement rings and other special occasion jewellery. If pink diamond production is reduced by a considerable amount, it’s quite likely that prices will skyrocket for these gorgeous stones as availability decreases.
Because of this possibility, those considering purchasing pink diamonds would be wise to begin their research now. A diamond of any kind is a very special and personal decision, and even more so if you are buying it for an engagement ring. That’s why you want to learn as much as you can before moving forward.
Pink diamonds are so rare that most jewellers have never seen one, which is why it’s so important to work with someone you trust when buying one. Look for a jeweller who has specific knowledge and experience with pink diamonds.
If you want to know more about what makes pink diamonds unique and how to shop for them, check out our “Easy Guide to Pink Diamonds,” where you’ll learn about the origin of pink diamonds, tips for keeping the cost under control (but be warned, even “inexpensive” pink diamonds cost hundreds of thousands!), and tips for creating your perfect pink diamond engagement ring. Or, if you are looking at it as an investment opportunity, check out our three-part series “Beginning Your Pink Diamond Investment.”
So What Does the Future Hold for Rio Tinto’s Giant Pink Diamond?
Over the past few months, this rare pink diamond, which has been named the Argyle Pink Jubilee, has gone through the gamut. It’s been assessed, modelled, and examined. But it’s not quite ready for viewing yet. First they will spend a few weeks carefully polishing the diamond for its debut on the world stage. And then it will be cut. John Calleija of Calleija Jewellers predicts it will end up being 5 to 6 carats.
Only then will it be ready to go to tender. Instead of setting an asking price, they’ll be accepting bids on this lovely, rare pink diamond. Experts expect that it may fetch as much as $10 to $20 million at auction.
Who knows? Perhaps it will make its way onto a very special pink diamond engagement ring.