In the pink: Argyle Pink Diamonds

The Argyle pink diamond is likely one of the most sought-after in the world. Retail Jeweller learns the magic and thriller behind the stone

There are two stories the Aboriginal people tell about the Dreamtime origins of the Barramundi Hole and its pink diamonds, where the Argyle Diamond mine is found. The Miriuwung folks say that there was a barramundi residing within the river at Tharram (Bandicoot Bar). In the future a crane, fishing for meals, spies the barramundi and tries to catch it, however fails due to the pace with which the fish swims away. The barramundi swims up the Dunham River and on to Glen Hill, the place a few of her scales get scraped off as she passes by. These scales can apparently still be seen there at the moment.

It is here that the barramundi is spotted by some women, who try to catch her utilizing nets manufactured from rolled spinifex grass, a conventional Miriuwung fishing method. The barramundi evades the online by leaping over it and escapes between the two hills of the Barramundi Hole and heads down to the Bow River, where she involves relaxation as a white rock.

The different story, advised by the Gidja individuals, differs slightly. The barramundi continues to be chased by a bunch of old women with spinifex grass web, however this time as she jumps over the ladies to get out of the cave she has been corralled into, she sheds her scales, leaving them behind in the shallows. The scales grow to be the diamonds of all colors which might be discovered there as we speak.

The fact is somewhat extra concise. Pink diamonds are thought to have been formed three billion years in the past, about 150km below the earth’s surface. The explanation for his or her pink colour is that the strain “has created a slight twist within the crystal, inflicting gentle to refract on the far end of the color spectrum”, explains Josephine Johnson, manager of Argyle Pink Diamonds.

The website for the Argyle mine, which is owned by the Rio Tinto Group, happened thanks to Maureen Muggeridge, who got here to Western Australia in a joint venture with Tanganyika Holdings known as Ashton Joint Enterprise. The mission was to analyze whether or not there have been diamonds within the area after a mineral that indicates their presence was found in 1976. In 1979, Muggeridge found diamond samples within the floodplain of a small creek that flowed in Lake Argyle. She traced the supply of the diamonds to Smoke Creek’s headwaters and the Argyle pipe was found on October 2, 1979.

However, nobody fairly knows why this area is so comparatively wealthy in pinks. “The Argyle diamond mine is a fluke of nature. Nobody actually knows why this stunning a part of Australia is blessed with just about the world’s total supply of uncommon pink diamonds,” says Johnson.

Diminishing supply
Argyle at the moment supplies 90% of the world’s provide, but that isn't going to final for much longer. Because of the shortage of the diamonds – to put this in perspective, a 12 months’s worth of manufacturing of stones over half a carat would slot in the palm of your hand – Argyle estimates that it has solely a decade left of mine life.

This is why the Out of the Vault exhibition that Argyle curated at an invitation-solely occasion at Kensington Palace in October was such a particular event. It was a uncommon opportunity to see these pinks in pieces created by a number of the world’s most famous jewelry maisons.

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“Out of the Vault was impressed by the 12 months of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and her well-known Williamson pink diamond brooch. The jewelry homes invited to participate proceed the custom of making necessary jewels with pink diamonds,” explains Johnson. “Indeed, most of the pink diamonds on the earth today would have passed by means of or been in the fingers of the jewellers exhibiting.”

The end result was a set of diverse designs, from floral bangles by Moussaieff to a suite of koalas from Graff.

“Each Argyle pink diamond is unique. Each has its personal color, shape and dimension,” says Johnson. “The jewellery designers take their inspiration from these distinctive gems as a starting point. On this sense, the creativeness and design is impressed by the gem and, as such, we saw a spread of breathtaking designs from the floral by means of to the classical and on to the fashionable.”

Sought-after stone
Most of the items that were on display at the exhibition have already been sold, which, when you consider that the typical value point was $500,000 (£313,453), shows the worth people still ascribe to pink diamonds.

The other aspect that makes pinks so invaluable is their issue to work with. “All diamonds are created under stress, however none extra so than the Argyle pink diamond,” explains Johnson. “This makes them so arduous that we needed to develop our own know-how in order to polish them.”

Cutters solely study to cut pinks after a long apprenticeship and a few years of slicing white, yellow and different fancy colored diamonds. “Our polishers have been working on Argyle pink diamonds for over 20 years every and so they mix technology, experience, intuition and artwork within the profitable completion of every uncommon diamond.”

They could have 20 years’ expertise, but in just half that time, there will probably be no more Argyle pinks to polish, one thing that provides to the attract of these uncommon stones. And that makes them, like the barramundi in the Dreamtime legends, something of elusive magnificence.