The History, Beauty and Rarity of Argyle Pink Diamonds
It’s sometimes said that there are two ways to approach your life: to create, plan and manage or to allow spontaneity and chance to run its course. Of course, the truth is somewhere in the middle.
But as a jeweller who specialises in creating custom made engagement rings and wedding rings, you may have guessed that I believe in carefully planning your ring with you, before working meticulously to bring to life a ring which you truly love.
However, working in the jewellery industry means that I have heard and read stories that bring home just how important chance and luck are, and that is especially true in the case of the Argyle pink diamonds. These precious and rare stones, found right here in Australia, have a story that has added a new chapter to the long history of our fascination with diamonds.
Since the 1800s, the Kimberley region of Western Australia had drawn in prospectors and explorers. The vast and rugged plains of the region hinted at great natural wealth hidden beneath the surface of the Earth, although these early explorers had only sporadic success in discovering anything of value.
The harsh conditions of the desert meant that any large scale attempt to systematically explore the area was limited for the next few centuries.
But from the 1950s onwards, there was a much greater interest shown in the region. Large mining companies, led by BHP, entered the area and established multi million tonne mines, particularly in iron ore.
But it was in 1970’s that the Kimberley became famous for more than iron.
In 1979 a small group of geologists were traversing the terrain of the Kimberley, echoing the footsteps of those who went before them years ago. The legend of the story has it that while walking, one spotted a reflection of some sort in a raised mound of earth.
As it turned out, the random speck of light spotted purely by chance was an example of the rarest of all diamonds: the pink diamond.
After news of this initial discovery emerged, it wasn’t long before companies began to grow curious about the potential of the area. The mining giant, Rio Tinto, which had been part of the Western Australian economy for decades, began negotiations with the traditional owners of the land. They soon realised that there was potential for a large scale mine.
The company did many years of feasibility studies and investigation, which all led to a defining moment in 1985: the opening of the Argyle Diamond Mine. The mine is still in operation to this day, and is known throughout the world of jewellery and precious gemstones for one crucial reason.
Prior to Argyle, finding pink diamonds had been a matter of pure chance. While examples of the stones had been found in the subcontinent of India, in Brazil as well as some locations in Africa, these discoveries had been sporadic. More importantly, no single, high quality, reliable source of pink diamonds had ever been discovered before.
Now, the Argyle Diamond Mine accounts for 9 out of every 10 pink diamonds in the world, all from a single chance discovery in the Kimberley Desert. A full years worth of Argyle pink diamonds that are over half a carat would fit in the palm of your hand. Their rarity, quality and provenance all contribute to these being among the most prized and valuable gemstones in the world today.
If you would like to more about the precious gemstones that I can use to create you a custom engagement ring or wedding ring, I would love to chat with you. To book an appointment with me at my workshop at my inner Sydney studio, contact me firstname.lastname@example.org or (02) 9798-3232
Passed Copyscape 28 Dec 2014