We knew it was coming so it wasn’t a huge surprise when Rio Tinto Mining Corporation announced the closing of the Argyle Diamond Mine for 2020.
After almost 40 years, the Western Australia diamond mine will be shut down. Although it isn’t uncommon for a diamond mine to close after exhausting its supply of stones, the closure of this particular mine will have a considerable impact on the prices and supply of pink diamonds in the world.
The Argyle Diamond Mine is the only pink diamond mine in the world. Although a pink diamond can be found in any diamond mine, to have a mine that produces so many gem-quality pink, red, blue and purple diamonds is phenomenal. These colours command the markets highest prices. Stones auctioned at Sotheby’s have reached record auction prices for any gem. But these jewellery quality pink gems account for less than 0.1% of Argyle’s total output. One year’s worth of cut and polished pink diamonds barely fills a champagne flute.
The price of white diamonds were at a high in 2011 but have since then dropped. Pink diamonds have held their value since the day they came out of the mine. With Argyle closing, experts predict a revival in prices of all diamonds, regardless of colour. Based on the laws of supply and demand, the impact is going to be quite dramatic on pink, red, blue and purple diamonds from Argyle, already considered the rarest diamonds in the world.
In the past 10 years, prices for pink diamonds have quadrupled from their already high price tag. Presently, there is a 15-30% premium on pink diamonds with proven Argyle origin.
Valuating pink diamonds is complicated. They are so rare they lack a price list and there are very few reference points. The internet is not a good source to compare prices since one little element, such as a brown trace in colour, can change the value drastically. You cannot rely strictly on the 4C’s criteria used in grading white diamonds to pinks, although the colour, cut, clarity and carat are important factors in valuating pinks. Confused yet?
After the 2008 financial crisis, the interest in pink diamonds as an investment stone grew, and with good reason. But these gemstones are not liquid like stocks and shares and the potential investors should be aware of this. If you wish to invest or purchase a pink diamond, make sure you talk with a knowledgeable professional that can guide you in the right direction. Not all pink diamonds are of investment value.
Pink diamonds are so rare that most people will never get a chance to see one in their lifetime. So, how does a small jewellery stor in Cochrane, Alberta manage to get their hands on some?
It’s about being at the right place, at the right time. Having an impeccable reputation in the jewellery industry and amongst diamond site holders doesn’t hurt either.
Over the past several years, I have been in contact with experts in the pink diamond industry and purchasing them for my clients. I am very fond of them because of their gemmological anomaly (more on that in a future article). Pinks are in a class of their own where “standard” rules don’t apply. If you have any questions on pink diamonds or would like to be one of the few people in the world to see one, stop in the shop and I will be happy to show you a pink diamond.