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Pink Fancy Coloured Diamonds Explained

Natural pink diamonds are rare, very rare. Over 90% of the word's pink diamonds are mined from just one mine, the Argyle Mine in Western Australia. The entire annual production of pink diamonds is about the size of a small melon. Worse yet, for buyers of pink diamonds, the mine is due to close in 2020 because the deposits almost exhausted.

Genuine pink diamonds are as valuable as they are beautiful, and their rarity is going to cause prices to explode once the Argyle mine has closed forever.

If you want to buy a beautiful pink diamond, the time to do it is right now!

What Is A Pink Fancy Coloured Diamond?

Most diamonds are clear, or almost so. All but the most colourless gems have a yellow tint to them. Although all types of diamonds are rare, coloured diamonds are even more precious. For every 10,000 clear diamonds used in jewellery, there is just one coloured diamond, and there are many different colours of diamond available.

In most diamonds, the colour is due to trace imperfections in the stone. The yellow tint in most diamonds comes from very tiny numbers of nitrogen atoms mixed with the carbon atoms of the diamond's crystalline structure. Blue diamonds get their colour from boron atoms.

Pink diamonds are unusual; their colour comes from changes to the pure carbon crystals from extreme pressure and heat deep, over millions of years, below the Earth's surface. Atoms of the crystal have been slightly shifted from their regular positions, causing the diamond to look pink rather than colourless. This process of colour change is called plastic deformation.

Only the finest and rarest diamond crystals are pure pink, most have a trace of some other colour within them from impurities. These colour changes allow buyers and diamond connoisseurs to choose a colouration that suits their tastes.

How To Tell If A Pink Fancy Colour Diamond A Good One?

Pink diamonds are assessed and graded by the Gemological Institute of America GIA) in a similar way to colourless diamonds using the 4Cs of clarity, cut, colour and carat weight. From the outset, it is essential to make sure that a reputable laboratory grades any fancy coloured diamond and the GIA is the best, the most trustworthy, and consistent. The GIA devised the 4Cs grading system that is used by most diamond grading laboratories.

A GIA report will always disclose whether a pink diamond is natural or treated to enhance the colour.

GIA And Argyle Pink Diamond Colour Grades

For fancy coloured diamonds, the emphasis of the grading is on the colour of the stone. A 'good' diamond is one in which the colouration is highly graded with the highest grade, and most valuable, being the darkest. The colour-grading range that you will see associated with a pink fancy colour diamond is as follows:

  • Faint
  • Very Light
  • Light
  • Fancy Light
  • Fancy
  • Fancy Intense
  • Fancy Vivid, Fancy Deep or Fancy Dark

Figure 1. Pink diamond colour GIA grades courtesy: https://www.gia.edu/images/WN18-Magana-Fig2ABC-callouts-239826-1280px.jpg

In the case of pink diamonds, you may see Argyle Mine branded diamonds assessed on a scale devised by the mining company. The Argyle grading scale runs from 1 to 9 for the intensity of the pink hue. 9 indicates the weakest intensity.

The colour is assigned to one of four categories:

  • PP (Purplish Pink)
  • P (Pink)
  • Pink Rosé (PR)
  • PC (Pink Champagne)

Figure 2. Examples of the Argyle Mine pink diamond colours courtesy: https://castens.com/uploads/australian-argyle-pink-diamond-chart.jpg

Argyle Mine pink diamonds tend to sell for a significantly higher price than other non-branded natural pink diamonds. The price premium is a result of the popularity of the colours they produce and good marketing.

Pink Diamonds And Exceptions To The Pure Colour

In most cases fancy colour diamonds with the highest value are those with the purest colour, that is where there is no secondary colour visible. The pure colours are the rarest of any of the fancy colours.

Pink diamonds are a little different to other fancy coloured diamonds. Because of the magnificent vibrant Purplish Pink colour, the mixed colour graded as 1PP is as highly valued as the pure Pink 1P. The Brownish Pink 1BP is worth about half that of the 1P Pink. Buyers choose the colour, as with the 1PP, due to the attractiveness and popularity of the mixed colouration.

atural Or Treated Pink Diamonds

Because pink diamonds have become popular and are becoming rarer, the prices have been increasing rapidly. As a result of the rising prices, there is a market for treated pink stones for use in jewellery.

Artificially coloured pink diamonds are created from either natural or man-made diamonds. To all but the expert, it is hard to tell a treated diamond from a natural one. The market value of a treated stone is much less than a naturally pink diamond.

Artificial Pink Diamonds

There are two main methods to make a pink diamond. The first is to grow the crystals artificially. The process takes several weeks and replicates the heat and pressure that creates natural diamonds under the surface of the Earth. Artificial diamonds made in this way can be o very hard to distinguish from natural gems and requires laboratory equipment to carry out the testing.

Treated Pink Diamonds

The second technique for creating pink diamonds is to bombard a natural diamond with radiation. The radiation shifts the position of atoms within the crystalline lattice of the gem creating a pink colouration.

Because the quality of the colouration is the focus of buyers of coloured diamonds, irradiation of low-quality genuine diamonds is a cost-effective way to enable vendors to recycle low-value diamonds into a much higher value product.

Imitation pink diamonds are relatively inexpensive in comparison to the natural product. Jewellers should inform buyers about treatments or the use of artificial diamonds, but not all do.

Many people are entirely happy to pay the lower price of such diamonds. If you want to buy a genuine natural pink fancy coloured diamond, your best protection is a diamond grading report from a reputable diamond grading laboratory.

Setting Styles To Enhance Your Pink Fancy Colour Diamond

Any ring that features a genuine fancy pink coloured diamond will look extraordinary. However, some setting styles can make such gems stand out or make the diamond look even more impressive.

Pavé Settings

A pavé setting is one where the band of the ring has smaller stones set into the ring. These catch the light and call attention to the ring and the centre diamond. This setting can make even relatively small pink diamonds look very special.

Halo Settings

A halo setting surrounds a central larger diamond with a ring of smaller diamonds. The surrounding halo can pick up some of the pink colour from the central diamond. The effect is to make the central stone look larger and to give a slightly softer effect to the reflections.

Tension Settings

A tension setting is a modern style that uses pressure within the band of the ring to hold the diamond in place. Your pink coloured diamond will stand out on the finger in a unique, trend-setting fashion.

Choose The Right Colour Metal

When you choose the setting of your pink diamond, do not forget the choice of metal. A light pink diamond will look great with a white metal band. The popular darker Brownish Pink and Purplish Pink will be flattered by a yellow or rose gold band.

Fancy pink coloured diamonds are a beautiful gem for any woman's finger or other jewellery. The colour is symbolic of love and affection. Because of its rarity, a genuine pink diamond ring will always be unusual and demand attention.

For collectors and connoisseurs of diamonds a high-quality pink diamond, especially if it comes from Australia's Argyle Mine, will be an appreciating asset for the future. Demand will keep on pushing up prices for a unique diamond that can no longer be mined.

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