If you have ever read or researched anything about pink diamonds and pink diamond jewelry, even casually, you are no doubt aware that the vast majority of the world’s current supply of these stunning stones was mined from the Argyle Mine in Western Australia.
However, all diamond mines inevitably “burn out,” despite holding such a vital role within the diamond industry and the investment sector, and, sadly, the Argyle mine is no exception.
Diamonds in general, and that includes the fancy-colored gems used to create pink diamond jewelry, are thousands of years in the making. They do not replenish themselves, and given that scientists and gemologists still disagree, to a certain extent, about just why pink diamonds are pink, their supply was always going to be finite.
However, for decades the Argyle mine offered up a wealth of stunning pink diamonds, and the annual tender, an industry showcase/auction was legendary within the diamond industry.
However, all good things must come to an end. The Argyle mine’s resources were long projected to be completely exhausted by some point in 2020 and the mine did indeed cease operations on November 2nd, 2020. There will be one final diamond tender offered by the mine’s owners, Rio Tinto, at some point in 2021, but then that will it. The Argyle Mine will become a footnote in history.
So, what happens next? How is this going to affect this sector of the diamond industry, and what can enthusiasts and investors expect?
The Importance of the Argyle Mine Explained
Established in West Australia’s Kimberly region, the Argyle mine began open pit mining operations in December 1985. Although, relative to the global average, the diamonds originally found were of a lower value, the mine offered huge volume and the precious stones had a grade whose richness would eventually rewrite geological textbooks.
As the mining activities progressed, Argyle gradually became the world’s fourth largest producer of diamonds by volume and contributes to about 90 percent of natural-colored diamonds even today. Including over 90% of the world’s supply of pink diamonds.
What’s Next for Pink Diamond Jewelry?
Even when the Argyle mine was producing at high capacity, the volume of pink diamonds it produced was small, and the diamonds themselves exceedingly rare. In terms of the diamonds that made it to the pink jewelry market, rather than into the safes of diamond investors, the finest of them – as graded by the globally respected authority on such matters – the GIA – were always extremely expensive.
Pink diamonds, usually those with other visible hues, or with a lesser hint of color – termed faint by the GIA – have found their way into the mainstream jewelry world and, ironically enough, as the Argyle mine’s supply dwindled the popularity of pink diamond jewelry increased.
For now, you can still buy a beautiful pink diamond ring, necklace, earrings, or other pink jewelry piece without the need to take out a second mortgage. It is highly likely that a pink diamond jewelry purchase made now will offer excellent ROI as natural pink colored diamonds are going to get harder and harder to find. Then, when they are purchased to wear rather than as an investment, it is worth remembering just how beautiful and unique these diamonds are. Which means their value in terms of style, beauty and meaning will only increase too.