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For Indian diamond connoisseurs, pink diamonds are not forever

The value of pink diamonds has appreciated 500% in the last two decades

For the diamond connoisseurs in India, pink diamonds are not forever. Reason: the Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia, operated by Rio Tinto, which is the source of 90% of the world’s pink diamonds, was depleted and closed in November-2020.

In the last two decades, the value of the highly-coveted pink diamonds has appreciated by 500%, mainly due to their popularity among Indian consumers for rarity and investment purposes. IF one talks about the appreciation of prices of Argyle Pink diamonds, they have outperformed all major equity markets in the world.

The Argyle Diamond mine owned by RioTinto was the world’s largest producer and largest supplier of natural colored diamonds—including white, champagne, cognac, blue, violet, and the rare and high-coveted Argyle pink and red diamonds. I November 2020, mining ceased at Argyle after 37 years of operations and producing more than 865 million carats of rough diamonds.

Pink diamonds aren’t just coveted for their beauty but also their rareness. The pink color of the diamonds is a result of a twist within the stones’ original atomic lattices during formation over a billion years ago. Still, geologists around the world face many mysteries regarding the pink diamond’s production phenomena.

Sources in the diamond industry said there are business families and High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) from Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Surat, etc. who are keen to own pink diamonds for their rarity and as the valuable investment. The prices of Argyle pink diamonds start at $15,000 per carat (Rs.11.89 lakh) and can go up to $1 million, depending upon the size and clarity.  With no new diamond mines producing natural colored diamonds has been discovered in the past few years, the desire for pink diamonds has only increased.

Only 0.13 percent of the natural colored diamonds mined at Argyle Diamond mine in Western Australia were pinks. These pink diamonds were offered in the annual Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender. With very few pinks, the Argyle mine offered its annual production (usually around 60 diamonds) to an exclusive group of 100 invitation-only dealers, collectors, jewellers, who were invited to place sealed bids.

In August-2021, Rio Tinto’s final Argyle Pink Diamonds tender collection of rare pink diamonds was organized where the connoisseurs, collectors, and luxury jewellers in Antwerp, Belgium. About 70 pink diamonds weighing 81.63 carats were offered at the tender ranging from 3.47 carat radiant shaped fancy intense pink diamond, 1.79 carats of square radian shaped fancy vivid purplish pink diamond, 2.03-carat square radiant shaped fancy deep pink diamond, 2.05 carat radiant shaped fancy-shaped intense pink diamond among others.

Patrick Coppens, General manager, Sales, and Marketing for Rio Tinto’s diamonds business had stated“The first Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender was held in Antwerp in 1984 and the final epic collection was hosted in Antwerp. Over the past 38 years, Argyle pink diamonds have pushed the boundaries of rarity and value appreciation to new extremes.”

Anirudh Lidbide, a diamond industry analyst told Hello Entrepreneurs, “Pink diamonds have become history. There are those lucky buyers from India who own the pink diamonds, but they won’t find them again as the Argyle Mine is depleted and closed. The value of pink diamonds is going to appreciate further because they have become rare in the world.”