In October 1979, a group of geologists in a rugged part of Western Australia sighted a glimmer in an anthill. The glimmer was from diamonds and the anthill was located in the heart of a region known as East Kimberley. It was history in the making and little did they know they were about to uncover a find of such significance that it would change the diamond industry forever.
The discovery provided the world with an unprecedented stream of diamonds in all colours including the unique violet blue. But of all the stones the mine would reveal came the most highly prized, highly coveted and supremely precious rare pink diamonds. Better still, the pink diamonds from this mine would be of incomparable brilliance and beauty. The Diamond Mine opened on the site in 1985 and it soon became one of the largest producers supplying around 20% of the globe’s diamond supply. Only a tiny percentage are pink, less than 0.1%. However, the Diamond Mine in Australia is the only consistent source of natural pink diamonds and it represents approximately 90% of the pink diamonds found in the world.
The mine was an open cut mine until 2013. With the diamond yield diminishing each year, Rio Tinto invested in a strategic plan to extend the life of the mine by transitioning it to an underground operation. The remaining life of the pink diamond mine is unknown but it’s estimated to be a decade at best.
Before the existence of the Australian Mine, random pink diamonds of intense colour saturation had been found in Brazil and African mines. The supersaturated vivid colour spectrum of the Australian Pink Diamond and the consistent supply was unparalleled and amazed industry leaders and gemmologists worldwide.
Australian Pink Diamonds are exceptionally rare and when the mine closes as predicted they are set to become an Australian ‘heritage’ diamond to be desperately sought after by collectors and investors across the globe.
The Pink Kimberley Colour Grade Chart
Natural diamonds regardless of colour are graded and valued according to the well-established and recognised ‘Four Cs’ method
For white diamonds, the grading process is fairly rudimentary. However, with pink diamonds, there is one measure that is far more important than the others - and it is the Colour of the diamond; both the actual colour and its intensity. It’s this that determines the value of a pink diamond.
Yes, Clarity is important but it’s secondary to Colour, followed by Carat Weight and Cut. Australian Pink Diamonds range in colour from the palest blush pinks through to deep red and every shade of the pink spectrum that lies between. The deeper the shade of pink and greater intensity of colour, the rarer and more valuable the diamond. At the far end of this spectrum is Fancy Red Diamonds being so rare that very few people in the world will ever see one.
Images and information courtesy of www.pinkkimberley.com.au