Tuesday 21 March 2023

Australia: Argyle

The most important source of pink diamonds in the world is the Argyle mine, in Western Australia. It was discovered in 1979 and is operated by the mining giant Rio Tinto. When Argyle's first intense pink and intense purple pink diamonds were put on the market in 1985, they completely revolutionized the very notion of pink diamonds.

Until then, pink diamonds had generally been pastel pink and rather pale. However only a tiny proportion (1/1,000) of color diamonds produced at Argyle really have an exceptional hue, the remainder is mainly composed of brown diamonds. Today, the majority of pink and red diamonds on the market come from Argyle, which is the most productive mine in the world

Specialists are not certain what produces the color of pink Australian diamonds. During their crystallization phase, they may have been caught in a lamproite mineral and it would seem that a particularly arduous journey to the surface of the earth's crust may be the cause of their color. Some foresee that when the Argyle mine will have been exhausted, these diamonds will become even scarcer and probably much more expensive. Everything leads us to believe that we could find the same types of stone at the South Pole which was, before the continental shift, very probably joined to Australia (the latter pivoted by 180°). This region is however protected by UNESCO and diamond production is prohibited in that area.

Types of diamonds originating from Australia (Argyle): 

Colorless, purple pink, pink, brownish-pink, pink champagne, champagne, brown.

Production of diamonds (all types taken together)
Mine Carats ('000) $/ct $ ('000) Operator
 Argyle 26,000  11   286,000 Rio Tinto