Gemology 101: Pink Diamonds (Why Have They Become So Rare?)

Gemology 101: Pink Diamonds (Why Have They Become So Rare?)
Gemology 101: Pink Diamonds (Why Have They Become So Rare?)

Pink Diamonds

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, right? But if you find yourself growing bored of the same-ol’, same-ol’ diamonds in your collection, it’s time for you to turn your attention to the rare and coveted
pink diamond.

Don’t be quick to assume that any colored diamond is some manmade piece of costume jewelry. Pink diamonds are 100% au naturel and incredibly rare — meaning they’re also incredibly valuable. You’ll spot them among the collections of some of the most wealthy individuals in the world, from celebrities
to royalty. 

Interested in adding one of these gemstones to your collection? Here’s everything you need to know about pink diamonds and why they’ve become one of the most coveted gemstones on the market.

What are Pink Diamonds?

Paraiba Tourmaline

Pink diamonds are a type of “fancy-colored” diamond that, because of their molecular makeup, have a pinkish or reddish hue. There are various hypotheses on how pink diamonds get their hue, but one of those most popular theories is that white diamonds are thrust upward through the earth’s makeup in such a way that the molecular structure is changed suddenly, and the pink hue is the result.  

Incredibly rare, pink diamonds make up only about 0.1% of the 20 million carats of diamonds that are pulled from the earth each year. Unlike yellow and blue diamonds, which contain traces of elements like boron or nitrogen, pink diamonds can contain no impurities.

What are Argyle Diamonds?

Argyle diamonds are a type of pink diamond sourced from the Argyle diamond mine in Kimberley, Western Australia, and these particular pink diamonds are known for their rarity, purity and intense color.  

The Argyle diamond mine, owned by Rio Tinot Corporation, began operations in 1983. At its height, the Argyle diamond mine was producing more pink diamonds than any other mine in the world, up to 90% of the planet’s inventory (even though pink diamonds only accounted for about 1% of the mine’s overall diamond volume). The mine’s annual output was 8 million carats of diamonds in total, producing approximately 705 million carats of diamonds over the mine’s lifetime. This means about 18% of all diamonds in circulation could, at one point, be traced back to this mine.  

The Argyle diamond mine, however, closed last year and ceased production — making its pink  diamonds even more valuable, as the jewelry market now experiences a pink diamond shortage. Still, Rio Tinot Corporation won’t feel the effects; while the diamond market is lucrative, this particular mine only accounts for 2% of the company’s profits.  

If you do come across a remaining Argyle diamond, you’ll notice one other thing that sets it apart. While most fancy-color diamonds receive a GIA diamond rating, Argyle diamonds are graded on a specific Argyle-created scale, that’s a little more specific than the scale used by GIA. Argyle diamonds are grouped into categories including purplish pink, pink, pink rose, pink champagne and blue violet.

Luckily, the Argyle mine is not the only place in the world to find pink diamonds. They can also be mined in destinations such as Russia, Brazil, South Africa, India and even Canada.

How Much Do Pink Diamonds Cost?

Gemology 101: Pink Diamonds (Why Have They Become So Rare?)

The cost of a pink diamond ranges according to aspects such as shape, clarity, cut and color intensity, as well as secondary color (pink diamonds can feature secondary colors such as brown, purple, gray and orange). The sum of these parts equals a cost ranging from $100,000 to $1 million per carat.

As mentioned, the GIA grades pink diamonds differently than the Argyle mine grades its own diamonds. The GIA grades pink diamonds according to color saturation, categorizing them as faint, very light, light, fancy light, fancy, fancy intense, fancy vivid, fancy deep or fancy dark. This GIA rating also impacts the final cost of the diamond.  

In general, though, you can expect pink diamonds to be more expensive the greater the intensity of the color, the greater the size, the higher the clarity and the better the cut for enhancing the color. Often, cushion and radiant cuts are most popular for pink diamonds.  

One of the most valuable pink diamonds in the world is the Pink Star Diamond, which measures in at a whopping 59 carats. GIA-graded as an Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Pink diamond, it is one of the most perfect and one of the largest in existence, selling for $71 million at auction.

Another famous pink is the Rose of Dubai, which is less than half the size of the Pink Star Diamond, at 25 carats. The pear-shaped gemstone sold for $6 million at auction. However, the comparable Graff Pink Diamond, also at 25 carats, sold for $46 million. The Williamson Pink is a 23.6-carat round pink diamond owned by Queen Elizabeth and set in a brooch by Cartier.  

While you may not have glimpsed these famous pink diamonds, though, you may have very well seen the pink diamonds that have made headlines in the tabloids. Most notably, Ben Affleck proposed to Jennifer Lopez in 2002 with a 6.1-carat pink diamond engagement ring (valued at $3 million). Nick Cannon proposed to Mariah Carey in 2008 with a 17-carat emerald-cut diamond that was surrounded by 58 pink diamonds. Enrique Inglesias likewise proposed to Anna Kournikova in 2004 with a pink diamond engagement ring valued at $2.5 million. 

Not Ready to Purchase a Pink Diamond?

Gemology 101: Pink Diamonds (Why Have They Become So Rare?)

If your jewelry budget doesn’t quite stretch into the millions just yet, you might be wondering if there are any alternatives to pink diamonds — and luckily, there are a few, more budget-friendly options.

Pink sapphires are one option that, though rare, aren’t as rare as pink diamonds. Comparatively, pink sapphires are a little brighter than their pink diamond counterparts.  

You can also consider a lab-created pink diamond, for both a more affordable and more ethical option. 

Pink Diamonds — Your Perfect Fit?

5 Steps to Starting Your Diamond Collection

Pink diamonds are a popular choice among celebrities for engagement rings, and for good reason. These gorgeous, valuable gemstones are just the thing to show your sweetheart how much you value your just-as-rare, once-in-a-lifetime love story.  

But even for those who don’t plan to use a pink diamond to profess their love, these diamonds make a solid investment, with their value increasing at a rate of nearly 14% annually.  

Interested in adding one of these gemstones to your jewelry collection? The team at Yamron is here to help. We’d love to assist you with finding that perfect pink diamond fit — and when it comes to sourcing something as rare and valuable as a pink diamond, or even an Argyle diamond, you don’t want to leave your purchase to chance. Partnering with an experienced jeweler like those on the Yamron team can ensure your best experience possible.

Talk with one of our luxury jewelry experts to get started, by giving us a call at 239-592-7707 or an email at If you’re in Naples, stop by our showroom to speak with one of our team members in person.