Pink diamond identification has always come down to knowing precisely what you’re looking for – and having enough expertise to be certain of what it is when you find it. It’s said that the pink diamond that led to the establishment of the famous Argyle mine in Western Australia was found on top of an anthill on the flood plain of a creek in 1979.
Stumbling upon Argyle’s beginnings
The chance discovery of a diamond lying on the ground tends to spike one’s curiosity, and following the ‘anthill discovery’ it wasn’t long before more pink diamonds were found in the area. Soon after this, the source of the diamonds was traced to Smoke Creek, and eventually to the Argyle pipe. Evaluation of ore from the pipe found it to be the richest known anywhere in the world. Soon the Argyle diamond mine was founded – a mine that was to become the source of around 90 percent of the world’s fancy coloured pink diamonds from 1984 to its closure in 2020.
Identity crises – the early years
Details of what happened to the anthill diamond that kicked off the Argyle Mine story are lost to time, but you’d expect that pink diamond identification became easier for everyone from the time of that first discovery. It might be fair to assume that the pink diamonds mined over nearly 40 years at Argyle would be easy to trace. Yet the truth isn’t quite that simple. It seems pink diamond identification wasn’t an enormous priority during the early years of the Argyle mine. As difficult to imagine as it might be, during the mine’s formative years only very large pink diamonds and those of utterly flawless quality were issued with certification. Lesser diamonds – still nonetheless quite spectacular gems – were often sold with no certification whatsoever. So right from the start, future challenges in pink diamond identification were inevitable.
Beyond paperwork – a marked improvement in pink diamond identification
Issuing certification with a pink diamond is a good start, but it’s not foolproof, and can be prone to loopholes. Certificates can misplaced and, far worse, forged. So pink diamond identification can quickly grow foggy. Is that a genuine certificate? It can be hard to tell. Is that the pink diamond originally attached to the certificate? Now that is even harder to be sure of, especially for the layperson. Safe certification of pink diamonds called for another level of certainty. In a move that was arguably belated, from 2005 Argyle pink diamonds of 0.2 carats and above began to be laser inscribed, a move towards indelible identification. It would take another 10 years before smaller pink diamonds were given the same treatment.
Pink diamond investing and the need for identification beyond doubt
Increasingly, investors are turning to pink diamonds in order to add something exotic to their portfolio that just happens to be a strong performer, and historically able to bear up very well to market fluctuations. Even ‘mum and dad’ investors looking to add to Self-Managed Super Funds are turning to pink diamonds. As a result, accurate pink diamond identification is vital. While of course the ultimate in peace of mind is simply to purchase a pink diamond that has been both certified and laser inscribed, these gems can be particularly hard to come by, and tend also to occupy the top rung of the price ladder. For identification of unmarked pink diamonds – even those without documentation – laboratory solutions such as spectroscopic analysis can be a path forwards. Using ultra-violet light as well as lasers, a laboratory can compare the characteristics of any pink diamond to those known to have originated from the Argyle mine, proving the geological identity of the stone in question. These and other lab methods are exhaustive, expensive, but accurate.
The human touch – knowledge, expertise and networks
In any endeavour where the stakes are high, it pays to have an expert on hand. Around the globe there is a sparkling galaxy of known pink diamonds, as well as investors and experts linked in to this unique network. The best of these are experienced gemmologists working in the specialist pink diamond investment realm, closely connected with similar people and the limited ‘population’ of rare pink diamonds that they broker. In a finite market where new high quality pink diamonds are a rarity, the people with the expertise and contacts become very familiar with individual gems.
“I speak to people in the industry about a pink diamond that has become available, look at a stone and sometimes it’s like meeting an old friend”, says Pink Diamond Capital Director and Gemmologist Eric Kariuki. “There are many stones I have seen more than once. I know their story and can trace them back through a path of ownership right to the mine where they were discovered. It’s a great privilege to be connected to this community and to have the insight to help guide investors to the purchase of a pink diamond of unquestioned provenance. I enjoy being part of a special community and the relationships that grow as I share the journey with investors, making introductions and explaining the details. I find it immensely satisfying to earn a person’s trust and put them in a position where they feel secure, informed and completely satisfied with their investment.” To this day, Mr Kariuki has helped hundreds of investors find pink diamonds of proven pedigree to add to their portfolios.
Although the very first Argyle pink diamond was almost literally stumbled upon, wise investors are advised to take well considered steps towards finding the right stones. If you are interested in learning more about investing in pink diamonds, the best way to proceed is through a free Private Consultation with Eric Kariuki himself. Mr Kariuki is a qualified gemmologist and an expert in valuing, procuring and trading in Pink Diamonds. To enquire about a one-on-one Private Consultation, simply click here.