Natural Colour Pink Rose Diamonds
How pink diamonds form, their history and where are pink diamonds mined?
Understanding the real value of natural colour pink rosé diamonds is a daunting task, especially for people not versed in gemology. Yet all of us can quickly appreciate the beauty of these perfect gemstones that started as ordinary carbon matter until subjected to extraordinary pressures. In economic terms, scarcity of an item increases its value and it exponentially rises if the demand for it increases.
Pink diamonds are extraordinarily rare minerals – only 0.001% of all stones extracted from all of the mines of the world are pink diamonds. It makes these gemstones one of the most precious and valuable items one can obtain.
However, fully appreciating the value of these stones requires an in-depth understanding of the gem itself. How did this delicate pink stone rise to the top of the gem and investment market, and become a sought-after gemstone for jewellery despite its exorbitantly high prices? A brief overview of what pink diamonds are, and how they came to be provides more clarity on just why these exquisite beauties are so desirable.
Why are some diamonds pink?
Interestingly, with all the modern techniques and tools for investigating minerals, scientists are still unsure of how pink diamonds got their rare colour. According to numerous tests, there is no evidence that the pink colour is due to any impurities such as nitrogen or boron. Various theories aim to explain the colour, one of which is that the colour is the effect of light refracting due to a misalignment in the layers of carbon atoms inside the diamond’s structure. Research is ongoing, and this is the reason that scientists are currently accepting as a starting point to understanding the reasons for pink and red diamonds. However, in the end, the mystery of the pinkish hue of these stones has yet to be unveiled and the secrets remain locked inside these rare curiosities.
How are pink diamonds formed?
Diamonds are ordinary carbon that has been subjected to intense pressures for millions, or even billions of years. Liquid carbon has been compressed so intensely that it achieved a crystalline state so compact that it is the hardest mineral on Earth. It is so hard that only another diamond can cut it. However, pink diamonds have a unique history of creation.
Usually, diamonds are found encased in a type of igneous rock called kimberlite. These stones are found in places where diamond deposits have been brought to the earth’s surface by kimberlite pipes. Most of the diamonds, including fancy coloured diamonds, are found around these types of pipe extrusions. On the other hand, the source of the most stable supply of pink diamonds, was discovered in a lamproite pipe, another kind of igneous rock created in the earth’s mantle. This anomaly may be responsible for the diamonds removed from these type extrusions having a unique intensity to their colour. The Argyle mines in Western Australia, which is the source of 90% of all pink diamonds in the market, sits over a lamproite pipe – it is well known for being the only profitable diamond mine sourcing gems from a lamproite pipe.
High temperatures and pressure in the mantle have compressed carbon material into a crystalline form, turning it into a diamond. Heat creates expansion and the bonds between the layers of carbon atoms can separate causing the layers to move out of alignment. How does this happen? During this transformation elements such as hydrogen, or nitrogen from surrounding material consisting of liquid or solid plant or animal matter may become trapped, absorbed or expelled – leaving traces of its presence as extra atoms or miniscule pockets of air. The slippage in the carbon atom lattice and the absorption of these ‘foreign’ atoms interfere with absorption and distribution of certain light wavelengths, and the overall effect makes the diamond appear pink.
The history of pink diamonds
For several thousands of years, diamonds have been well-valued, even in ancient civilization. However, it was only when techniques in diamond cutting were perfected that the sparkling appearance of diamonds took centre stage. During ancient times, a crude method of polishing diamonds was the only way to turn a raw crystal into a jewel of worth. Historical records show that in the 4th century BC, diamonds were traded between early civilizations as stones imbued with spiritual powers. Diamonds were used as talismans, and in religion as objects of veneration. For centuries, most of the diamonds in circulation came from India, which led many to believe that diamonds are only found in the Asian subcontinent. However, in the 18th and 19th centuries, diamonds were discovered in Brazil and Africa. It provided an increase in the supply of diamonds in the market, lowering its price, making it affordable to more people.
Diamond cutting was first developed in the 14th century, finally elevating the diamond for its pure beauty. Cuts that take advantage of light refraction were perfected, taking a roughly polished stone to a desirable symbol of immeasurable purity. It is through advancing stone-cutting technology that diamonds took a place in society as jewellery used for gifts, engagements and marriages, and as a declaration of a person’s rank, status and power.
The discovery of the Argyle Mines
In the 20th century, gold prospectors surveying Western Australia found a considerable amount of diamonds in the area’s creek beds, near where the mine was eventually established. Immediately, a diamond rush began in the area, and companies began their surveying and claiming. Rio Tinto – a large and famous mining company – eventually bought the Argyle mines, ultimately becoming the source of 90% of the pink diamonds worldwide. Even though there are pink diamonds occasionally found in other diamond mines, only the Argyle provided an almost regular flow of pink diamonds for the market.
However, given the nature of volcanic pipe extrusions, the depletion of the mines became imminent. It was announced that the mines would shut down by 2021. With the last of the production leaving the mines the search for a reliable source of these natural anomalies is on – if another source of pink diamonds fails to be found, the price of these stones will skyrocket exponentially. It is for this reason that many are starting to accumulate these pink gems, trying to find the best deal to acquire these rare stones before inflation drives prices to exorbitant heights. They are also becoming a firmly clever investment option for those looking to put their money into a commodity that is growing in value.