Lovers of beautiful pink diamonds should expect a price hike in the price of pink diamonds. Argyle Diamond Mine which produced nearly the entire world supply closes this week. After this closure, the price of pink diamond is set to sky rocket.
Argyle Diamond mine, which turns out to be the world’s largets pink diamond mine began when a group of geologists stumbled across a stone in the Kimberley region or Western Australia in the 1970s.
The owner of Argyle Diamond, Rio Tinto, began production in 1983 and since then the mine has produced 95 per cent of the world’s supply of the rare diamonds.
Jewellery historian Vivienne Becker told news.com.au that Argyle pink diamonds would ’emerge as the new Faberge egg, the thing jewellery myths are made of’ in the next decade.
Rio Tinto has decided to close the mine citing that the supply of pink diamonds is running out and that the mine is now too deep to excavate for further extraction
‘The drilling costs are growing, and profits deriving from the diamonds produced are not enough to cover operation costs,’ subsidiary retailer Argyle Diamond Investments said on its website.
In many cases, some diamond colors are caused by trace elements such as nitrogen (in the case of yellow diamonds) or boron ( for blue diamonds), however, pink diamonds have not been found to have these trace elements.
The pink stones have accounted for less than 0.01 per cent of Argyle’s total output, with the mine producing more than 865 million carats of rough diamonds over its life.
Most of the diamonds mined at Argyle are browns of which only 5 per cent are gem quality, however it has consistently produced high-quality pink diamonds making it a unique deposit.
Kimberley Fine Diamonds proprietor Frauke Bolten-Boshammer, based Kununurra, 200km north of the mine told Bloomberg in July that pink diamond prices had quadrupled in the last 10 years already.
Argyle’s closure will take down 75 per cent of Rio Tinto’s diamond output. However, the impact on the giant’s earnings will be less than 2 per cent given that diamond trade is a considerably small part of the overall portfolio of business activities.
According to the estimates by Rio Tinto, it will take 5 years to decommission the mine and to start rehabilitation works.
Rio Tinto managing director for operations, copper and diamonds, Sinead Kaufman told the ABC that over the past 20 years, Argyle pinks had risen in value five-fold.
‘Demand for Argyle pink diamonds has continued unabated,’ she said. ‘Rarity, uniqueness and a finite supply has driven the strong value appreciation we have seen, and continue to see.’
The last Argyle pink diamonds are being sold to specialists round the world this month in a trade sale known as a ‘rough tender’, Rio Tinto said on its website.
The ‘Specials’ tender will sell off diamonds larger than 10.8 carats.
A total of 28,399 carats of rough stones will be shown before November 9, both online and in the global diamond hubs of Antwerp, Belgium, and Tel Aviv, Israel.
It will include Argyle’s famous coloreds together with an enormous 26-carat white diamond plus a 74.5 carat fancy yellow named ‘Diavik Helios’ from Rio Tinto’s Diavik mine in Canada.
A separate sale tender is offering pink, violet and blue diamonds to collectors and jewellers including Argyle Eternity, a 2.24 carat vivid purplish/pink diamond.