Pink Diamonds: A History

There’s a reason why diamonds are referred to as precious. A natural wonder, diamonds have been treasured and sought after since ancient times and remain a symbol of elegance and opulence.

While most diamonds are colourless, some are formed with colour and known as “Fancies.” Spanning a spectrum of colours, including yellow, brown, orange, blue, grey, and black; the rarest and most desired of these fantastic gems is the Pink Diamond.

A Brief Background of Pink Diamonds

While most diamonds are hundreds of millions of years old, pink diamonds are roughly 1.6 billion years old, making them some of the oldest in the world. Adding to their age, pink diamonds are extremely rare in comparison to their colourless counterparts, making up only 0.03% of the world’s annual production of diamonds.

Image via Diamond World Fine Jewellery

While we know that diamonds, which are regarded as the hardest natural material on earth, come about through a combination of extreme heat and pressure within the Earth’s core, the origin of the colour of pink diamonds is a bit more of a mystery.

The most common theory is that they formed under greater amounts of pressure, and as they are forced to the surface of the Earth, their structure changes and allows the diamond to absorb light in a way that produces the fantastic pink hue.

Where Pink Diamonds Come From

Pink diamonds can be found in Brazil, Russia, India, Siberia, Canada, South Africa, and Tanzania, however the vast majority of these diamonds – that is, between 80% and 90% – are found in the Argyle diamond mine in Kimberley, Western Australia.

Image via Diamond World Fine Jewellery

The Argyle mine has been supplying pink diamonds since the 1970s and produces some of the world’s finest uncut gems. However, of the diamonds which are unearthed, only 5% of the mine’s diamonds are considered gem quality. From this, less than 1.00 carat for every million produced goes to the Argyle Pink Diamond Tender, an exclusive event run by mining giant Rio Tinto, and where worldwide locations are only revealed right before the tender.

Unfortunately, the decreasing availability of high-quality pink diamonds means the Argyle diamond mine is expected to close by 2020, making pink diamonds a greater rarity and increasing their value dramatically.

Famous Pink Diamonds

Because of their rarity and value, pink diamonds are often sought after by the rich and famous.

In 1947, Queen Elizabeth II – then known as Princess Elizabeth – was gifted a 23.6-carat pink diamond, set as a jonquil brooch by Cartier, by geologist Dr. John Williamson. Other royal examples include the 182-carat Daria-i-Noor and the 60-carat Noor-ul-Ain, both of which are in the Iranian Crown Jewels.

Image via Wikipedia

More recent examples include Mariah Carey’s 17-carat engagement ring, valued at $2.5 million, from then fiancé Nick Cannon, and Jennifer Lopez’s 6.1-carat diamond ring, given to her by Ben Affleck, and valued at $1.2 million.

Most recently, a 59.60-carat pink diamond, known as The Pink Star, went on auction in Hong Kong in April 2017 and fetched a massive USD $71.2 million, making it the most expensive diamond ever to be sold on an auction.

While a favourite amongst the rich and famous, pink diamonds don’t have to be out of your reach. Visit Diamond World Fine Jewellery in store to shop their exclusive range of exquisitely-cut pink diamond rings.

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