8 Amazing Facts About Natural Pink Diamonds
Polished pink diamonds
Their scarcity and stunning beauty make natural pink diamonds incredibly intriguing. Highly valuable, their allure comes from their limited supply as well as mystery around their gemological information on how they are formed. What we do know, is that they are nothing short of fascinating. Read on to discover more on the mesmerising pink diamond
1. Pink Diamonds Originate Mostly From Australia
Pink diamonds are mainly found in Australia
More than 90 percent of the world’s supply of natural pink diamonds are produced in a worldwide-known diamond mine called the Argyle Mine in Western Australia. Historically they have also been found in India, South Africa, Canada, Russia and Brazil. The Argyle mine is expected to remain open until 2020.
Amazingly, less than 1% of the Argyle mine’s output are actually pink diamonds, making these diamonds the rarest of the rare. This means that for every one million carats of rough diamonds mined at Argyle, only one carat of pink diamonds is suitable for selling. Tendered pink diamonds are an average of 1 carat, and a total of about 40 to 50 carats are sold at auction annually.
80 percent of the diamonds mined at Argyle are actually beautiful brown diamonds.
2. Pink Diamonds Are Created Differently
Pink diamonds sourced from the volcanic lamproite pipe
Instead of the usual kimberlite pipe where most of the world’s diamonds are found, the pink diamonds at the Argyle Mine are sourced from a volcanic lamproite pipe.
3. They Are Exceedingly Rare
Natural pink diamonds are as scarce as they are stunning. Only a limited number exist and it estimated that only another 500 gem quality pinks remain to be discovered.
4. More Difficult to Polish
Pink diamonds in the rough
Argyle pink diamonds have a more complicated structure than white diamonds and can take three to four times as long to polish.
5. Their Colour Is a Mystery
Pink diamond being inspected with a loupe
Even though it is known how other natural fancy coloured diamonds get their colour, there is only speculation on how pink diamonds get theirs. One of the theories is that they get their color from a structural defect known among scientists as “plastic deformation” which is when the diamond is forced to the Earth’s surface and the structure of the diamond somehow becomes altered, causing a deformation. This flaw forces the stone to absorb light differently and emit the pink hue
6. All Pink Diamonds Are Not Created Equal
Chart showing the colour grading scale of pink diamonds
Pink diamonds come in all different shades, and just like other coloured diamonds, they can be graded faint, very light, light, fancy light, fancy intense, fancy deep and fancy vivid. The more intense the colour of the diamond, the higher the price of the diamond. Therefore, a natural pink diamond that is a rich and pure pink color, thus graded Fancy Vivid Pink, is exponentially more expensive than a Fancy Light Pink or Fancy Pink diamond.
Pink diamonds often come with a secondary hue, which can be described as purple-pink or orange-pink. Because of this, you’ll never find a pink diamond that looks the same.
7. Highly Valuable
Chart showing how the value of pink diamonds increases depending of the intensity of the colour
Among the most valuable coloured diamonds are pink ones, and may cost up to 20 times the price of its white equivalent. According to the Argyle Mine, one carat pink diamond can cost from $100,000 up to $1 million. The price will depend on the colour intensity, cut, clarity, and shape. The secondary hue can also make a big difference in the value and price. A brown secondary hue, for example, is more common to come by, and therefore, may result in a more affordable pink stone. However, a purplish pink diamond may be priced higher.
8. Famous Pink Examples
The Daria-i-Noor diamond
One of the most well-known examples of these beautiful gems is the Daria-i-Noor, which is known as the largest cut diamond in the world, weighing a jaw-dropping 186 carats. This table-cut light pink diamond has been worn by numerous kings, and was part of the crown jewels until 1739, when the Persian army retrieved it and took it back to Iran. Currently, it is part of the Iranian Crown Jewels in Tehran.
The Noor-ul-Ain diamond
The Noor-ul-Ain, also known as “the light of the eye,” is a 60-carat oval brilliant-cut pink diamond, is believed to have been discovered in India’s Golconda mines. It was the centerpiece in Iranian Empress Farah Pahlavi’s wedding tiara, which she wore in 1958.
Record breaking Graff pink diamond that sold for $46 million
Graff Pink Diamond is a 24.78-carat fancy intense pink stone, which broke records when it sold for $46 million at an auction in 2010.
Martian pink dimaond
The 12.04-carat Martian Pink fetched $17.4 million at an auction in 2012.
Polished round brilliant cut diamonds
The 25.02 carat stunning pear-shaped Rose of Dubai sold for $6 million in 2005.
Steinmetz pink diamond
The 59.60-carat Steinmetz Pink was discovered in Southern Africa. This fancy vivid pink diamond has a unique mixed oval cut and boasts an Internally Flawless clarity grade.
The Pink Star, the most expensive pink diamond sold at auction
The current world record for most expensive gemstone sold at auction belongs to the 59.6 carat Fancy Vivid Pink diamond named the Pink Star. Diamond cutter Isaac Wolf seized the winning bid with an offer of about $83.2 million only to default on payment of the diamond. Sotheby’s had to buy back the diamond for $60 million, having guaranteed that amount to the diamond’s original seller.
Queen Elizabeth II pink diamond brooch
Queen Elizabeth II has a pink diamond brooch, which was gifted to her by a Canadian geologist on her wedding day. She has worn it on many occasions, including the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
Learn more about the wonderful world of diamonds and these precious gifts from Mother Nature when you Visit the Cape Town Diamond Museum. Open 7 days a week, from 9am – 9pm. Visit us at the Clock Tower, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town.