Journey from the center of the earth
Dazzling perspective of time
When nature’s great forces created the Argyle Diamond Mine’s pink diamonds, the only living creatures on Earth were microscopic algae and single cell organisms. Several billion years still had to pass before humans walked the Earth.
It took a further two million years to discover and extract the unique gems, which today are famous and renowned for being the most beautiful and rare diamonds in the world.
It happened in one of the most remote places on Earth. In a corner of the East Kimberley’s stony plains in northern Western Australia, where the vast and rugged landscape is as intensely coloured as the diamonds themselves. It’s a region saturated with natural beauty and steeped in deep mystery.
The stark and harsh rock desert hides its precious secret well. For millennia, these rare diamonds have been hidden 150 kilometers below the surface of the earth, a surface that is as beautiful and mysterious as the treasures it hides.
THE ANTHILL’S SECRET
Diamonds where first discovered in the remote East Kimberley region of Western Australia in 1979 when a geologist noticed a diamond embedded in an anthill. A mine was built on the site in 1985 and, today, Rio Tinto’s Argyle Diamond Mine produces 14 million carat rough diamonds a year. This corresponds to approximately 11 % of the world’s rough diamond production. One of the 14 600 million stones that the mine produces each year, less than 0.02 percent is pink which equals 3500 – 4000 carats. Only the most exceptional are reserved for the exclusive “Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender”.
With a limited supply of pink diamonds remaining in the Argyle Diamond Mine these magnificent gems are becoming increasingly rare.
The enchanted light
When you look into the dazzling crystal of a pink diamond, you become spellbound. It is hard to look away. Within its many facets lies a story of profound transformation of enormous energy and of endless time.
A pink diamond contains a never ending stream of light from the past but also a glimpse of the future.
The hidden treasure
THE SECRETS OF THE ROCK DESERT
Despite the East Kimberley being one of the most rugged and desolate places on Earth, since 1850 generations of pioneers have searched for diamonds in the area’s beautiful though inhospitable rock desert. It took more than one hundred years before their perseverance was rewarded.
Only in 1985 did Argyle’s miners collect the first diamonds from the rocky subsoil.
Since then, the Argyle Diamond Mine has been in operation around the clock, all year round. Up until today, the mine is the largest miner in the world to produce rough diamonds, with more than 850 million carat.
THE CHOSEN FEW
Argyle is also the world’s largest producer of naturally coloured diamonds. 90 percent of all pink diamond are from Argyle, and the mine produces the diamonds with high saturated colours.
A select few of these are intensely pink diamonds will make the hearts of true diamond lovers skip a beat. These are the 50-60 exquisite stones that are sold at the annual Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender.
THE WORKPLACE OF GIANTS
The open crater of the Argyle Diamond Mine covers an impressive 450,000 square meters and at its deepest part extends 600 meters into the subsoil. in 2013 after the astronomically 2 billion dollar investment, the mine went from open pit to underground mine, to make it possible to mine the remaining reserves of the diamonds
Here, some of the world’s largest excavators and trucks toil to extract a handful of the world’s smallest, but most exquisite, miracles – Argyle’s unique pink diamonds.
RARER THAN RARE
Last year, mine workers brought approximately 14 million carats up from the underground – the equivalent to 2.8 tons of rough diamonds. The annual harvest has ar its highest reached 34 million carats (6.8 tons). However, only very few of these are pink diamonds. For every one million carats of rough diamonds from the Argyle Diamond Mine approximately one carat of intense pink diamonds reach the magic carat limit and will be offered for sale in the annual Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender. Usually the Tender comprises 50-60 signature stones, from 0.35-2.00 carats each. There is no risk that the market will be flooded with Argyle pink diamonds due to the simple fact that these diamonds are the rarest on Earth.
In a period of economic instability, it is a comforting thought that an Argyle pink diamond will never lose its value. On the contrary, it is expected that the Argyle Diamond Mine will exhaust its supply of pink diamonds and is projected to close in 2020-2021. While this is unfortunate for those who fail to attain one in time, it is an eternal guarantee that these small magnificent miracles will become even more valuable and sought after in the future.
The mysterious beauty
HARD AND ILLUMINATING
Argyle Pink diamonds are set apart from all other diamonds in the World. The atoms in Argyle Pink diamonds are bound together in a more complex manner than in other diamonds. At the same time, they have a mysterious ability to modify and intensify the lights, which is transmitted into the stone.
It is believed that the unusual structure might be the source of the crystal’s rare deep and intense pink colour.
KNOWLEDGE, CARE AND PASSION
As a pink diamond is sometimes up to 20-50 times more valuable than its white equivalent, the process of preparing one for sale is highly specialized. A small team of highly trained artisans is responsible for the treatment of each of the pink diamonds that might become a Tender candidate. They spend a long time ‘listening’ to the stone, before deciding how to best unlock its unique colour and brilliance. Their judgment of each diamond is crucial.
It is essential that the finished diamond has the maximum brightness and colour intensity. A polishing error of even a thousandth of a millimeter can result in a drastic decrease in the final scintillation of the diamond.
THE COLOUR OF PASSION
Up until 30 years ago all known pink diamonds were pale pink. The first pink diamonds from Argyle however, attracted attention in the diamond world because of their natural deepness of colour and radiance – ranging from romantic light pink to passionate red.
If you have ever seen a true natural pink diamond, you will be in no doubt with regard to its unique beauty. The light is reflected as vibrantly as from a pure white diamond, but the pink diamond also reflects its own unique colour.
THE SECRET PASSION
Pink diamonds are evaluated predominately on their intensity of colour and not on clarity, as with white diamonds. The most beautiful and precious pink diamonds are those that project the most intense colour.
Argyle pink diamonds offer a myriad of hues; from delicate blush to intense flushing pink. They fall into four main categories: “pink“, “orangey pink“, “brownish pink” and “purplish pink“.
Each of these colours increases in tntensity, from “faint” to the extremely rare “vivid”. Only the absolute finest and most intensely coloured diamonds deserve the description “vivid”.
FASCINATION FOR ALL
The intense colour of Argyle pink diamonds is equally fascinating for all who see and handle them, from the miners who uncover these hidden treasures, to the craftsmen who meticulously shape and polish them, to the privileged wearer, and all those who admire it.
HOW DOES AN ARGYLE PINK DIAMOND GET ITS INCREDIBLY RICH COLOUR?
One theory assumes that approximately three billion years ago, extraordinarily violent pressure altered the molecular structures of the carbon atoms. However, the common response from the world’s geologist and diamond experts is:
“We have absolutely no idea and will
most likely never find out.”