Vivienne Becker, Jewellery Historian, in her Introduction to Out of the Vault – A Celebration of Argyle Pink Diamonds in the year of HRH Queen Elizabeth 11 Diamond Jubilee.
Why is it the fact that Pink Diamonds are coveted by so many and owned by so few? The answer can pretty much be summed up in 2 words – Beauty and Rarity.
Human beings have always been drawn to beautiful and sparkling things. Since ancient times, as our ancestors discovered each different gemstone, they would recognise their special or unique features and categorise them into hierarchies of beauty, healing or talismanic properties and of power. Diamonds were ranked at the top of all natural gemstones due to their unparalleled hardness and scintillating brilliance, their ability to refract white light into its spectral colours. The very word “Diamond”, derived from the ancient Greek word “Adamas”, meaning “unconquerable”, speaks of the awe and superiority with which diamonds have always been regarded. White (colourless) diamonds are undoubtedly beautiful, however when the diamonds are any shade of pink, from the soft, pastel pink to a vibrant, rich pink, it adds an extra dimension and the Beauty is taken to another level.
Since antiquity, Pink Diamonds have been revered as almost miraculous because there were always so few of them. The recovery from a mine of a diamond with even the merest hint of pink colour was greeted with excitement and awe and reserved for sale or to be offered as a gift to the most wealthy and influential individuals of the time. Destined to be set in Crown Jewels, or to become the treasured heirlooms of noble families, sometimes to be traded by the most famous merchants. Pink diamonds have always been extremely sought after and valuable because they were recognised for being so very Rare.
This combination of Beauty and Rarity has in modern times become synonymous with Australian Argyle Pink Diamonds. “Argyle’s magnificent Pink Diamonds, which have their home in the remote and hauntingly beautiful landscape of the East Kimberley region of Western Australia, have played an extraordinary role in the diamond world”. This is no understatement, for the Argyle mine is the source of more than 90 Percent of the world’s Pink Diamonds and is renowned for the richness, strength and purity of their colour. More than any other, the beauty, rarity and mystique surrounding Argyle Pink Diamonds is responsible for generating the present day interest in all natural coloured diamonds.
The Argyle mine has been commercialised for approximately 35 years and according to owner Rio Tinto, the end of production is definitely in sight; estimated to be only 3-4 years away, as per “the current mine plan which sees production continuing until 2021” (Notice to the ASX dated 2/3/2017, entitled Change to Argyle Diamonds Mineral Resources.). When it commenced in 1983, the Argyle mine was an ever growing, open pit operation, which at its peak produced almost 25% of the worlds diamonds by volume! As the years progressed and the pit was worked deeper and deeper, following the diamond bearing ore body, a decision about the future viability of the mine was required. Without going underground and creating a new “block cave” mining operation, the production would have ceased around 2010 and it could fairly be said that the diamond world would be significantly different to today. Happily, the decision was taken in around 2005 to go ahead with the underground mine, which has resulted in an extra 10 or so years of mine life and 90% supply of the worlds pink diamonds.
Mondial Pink Diamond Atelier is one of the original Argyle Panel Members established in the mid 1980s in order to sell and distribute Argyle Pink Diamonds. As such, our affiliation with the mine and understanding of what pink diamonds are all about, stretches back almost to the first days of the Argyle mine. It is through this lengthy experience and ongoing passion that our ability to advise and help our clients select just the right Argyle Pink Diamond is second to none. In our Queen Victoria Building store we stock of hundreds of items of ready to wear, individually hand-crafted and uniquely designed pink diamond jewellery. The QVB boutique is also home to the extensive Mondial Collection of loose pink diamonds which are reserved especially for designing and creating customised items of jewellery in collaboration with our clients. There are literally thousands of pink diamonds, making it the largest selection of Pink Argyle diamonds to choose from anywhere in the world.