Table of Contents
- What is Argyle Mine?
- History of Argyle Mine
- Origin of Argyle Diamonds
- Natural formation process of Diamond
- Pure Diamond
- Colored Diamonds
- Exceptionality in Pink Diamond formation
- Synthetic Diamond formation
- Extraction process of Diamond
- Sorting Basis of Diamond (4Cs)
- Color (Hue, Tone, Saturation)
- Value of Argyle Diamond
- Argyle Diamond Intensity levels
- Argyle Colored Diamonds
- Argyle Yellow Diamond
- Argyle Green Diamond
- Argyle Orange Diamond
- Argyle Red Diamond
- Argyle Pink Diamond
- Argyle Blue Diamond
- Argyle Black Diamond
- Argyle Champagne & Cognac Diamonds
- Argyle Purple Diamond
- Is GIA certification necessary?
- Is Argyle Mine Closing?
- Date of Closure
- Reason of Closure
What is Argyle Mine?
- History of Argyle Mine
Argyle Diamond mine is geographically located at the East Kimberly in West Australia. The Argyle mine was discovered in 1979, and commercial mining started in 1983. The Argyle mine was initially owned by Rio Tinto Ltd. But until late 2000 it resulted in a joint venture by the owner Rio Tinto who owned 56.8% of the share, Ashton Mining Ltd. and the Western Australian Diamond Trust partnered sharing 38.2% and 5% respectively.
- Origin of Argyle Diamonds and their novelty
The Argyle Diamonds without a doubt are rarest diamonds in the world. They are sourced from the famous and one and only Argyle mine in Australia. The reason for its name is that it is one of the largest diamonds producing mine in the world. The Argyle mine is widely acknowledged not only for the very large quantity of diamonds it produces, which vary from brown to yellow and from near-colorless to colorless but also for the regular recovery of a small number of pink diamonds. Needless to say, the Argyle mine – one of the most popular diamond producing mine in the world – is a major contributer to the supply of quality diamonds worldwide. One of the significant factors that increase the importance of Argyle diamonds is the intensity of the colors that are found in the Argyle. Along with that when the Argyle diamonds are observed under the UV light, they give off the unique fluorescence that can be seen in almost all Argyle diamonds.
Natural Formation process of Diamonds
A) Pure Diamond
Diamonds constitute of carbon atoms arranged in very specific, and rigid tetrahedrons structure also called triangular pyramids. Pure argyle diamonds are crystalline, colorless and transparent. But such pure diamonds are very rare to be found; hence they are highly valuable.
B) Colored Diamond
Naturally colored diamonds, on the other hand, are formed when the trace elements react with the carbon atom. Trace elements including Sulphur, Nitrogen and Boron react in such a way that it imparts specific colors to the diamond hence, resulting in different colored diamonds, for example, brown, green, yellow blue.
C) Exceptionality in Pink Diamond formation
Pink diamonds are an entirely different story. Trace elements, as mentioned above, have never been found in pink diamonds. Instead, the color is caused by a distortion in the diamond’s crystal lattice. This distortion is the result of intense heat and great pressure from all directions (non-isotropic stress), after the stone’s formation in the earth. The distortion basically displaces many carbon atoms from their normal positions and alters the qualities of light reflected by the diamond. It is this special configuration of the molecules that gives these stones their highly desirable pink color.
The Argyle mine is mostly known for its production of pink diamonds, but it also contains rare red, yellow and blue colored diamonds that are all unique in their own way.
So what distinguishes the standard pink diamonds with the Argyle pink diamonds?
Typically pink diamonds from the other mines are less intense in color while the Argyle pink diamonds have more saturation and intensity of pink color. The saturated color is said to be formed due to the lines and planes found on the stones. Therefore, Argyle pink diamonds are considered unique and rare.
- Synthetic Diamond
A synthetic diamond compared with a real diamond might appear similar to the naked eye, but the fact is that the two are very different in characteristic. Unlike real diamond, a synthetic diamond is created in laboratory. Since the same procedure and methods are followed to make the diamond, it is often called as the copy of the real diamond. Synthetic diamonds have identical chemical and physical properties to that of the natural argyle diamonds even though they differ in their manufacturing process. Another method to form the synthetic crystal lattice of diamond is through chemical vapor deposition. In this process, scientist take a small pea size diamond seed and grow it layer by layer in the lab. The only major difference between the man made and the natural diamond is that the natural diamond is billion years old, which make it extremely significant and valuable.
Extraction process of diamond
Separating diamonds from Kimberlite or Lamproite Ore, requires a primariy mechanical, multi-step liberation process. In general, the ore must be broken down into progressively smaller pieces until the diamond crystals can be physically removed with little or no damage. At the Argyle mine, this process involves five basic operations:
1. Crushing the ore (in several steps)
2. Scrubbing the broken rock fragments with water to remove dust
3. Screening the ore into specific size fractions
4. Starting from a particular size fraction of the ore, concentrating the diamonds and other heavy minerals (e.g., garnet) using a heavy medium
5. Separating the diamonds from the other heavy minerals by means of X-ray luminescence technology. In the final step, X-rays are used to make the diamonds luminescent. An optical sensor triggers a blast of air to remove each diamond. These X-ray sorters, which were developed specifically for use at the Argyle mine, can detect approximately 200 diamonds per second at peak sorting rates.
Sorting Basis of Diamond (The 4Cs that determine the quality and in turn the price)
Later in the middle of 20th century, there was no grading standard to grade and judge the diamond. However, after a while, Gemological Institute of America (GIA) came and created a globally accepted standard to check the authenticity of the diamond. The argyle diamonds like other diamonds are sorted on the basis of shape, size, color, clarity, cut and carat weight. Every diamond is universally assessed on these 4Cs .The creation of the 4Cs standard has made life easy for the customers as they actually know what they are paying for.
The Color of Diamond is the first thing everyone looks at. White, transparent diamond is called as the pure diamonds while the diamonds with the hues of different colors are referred to as colored diamonds for example, pink, red, yellow, green, orange, brown, blue and purple. The color difference is graded on the scale from D to Z, where D is used to grade colorless diamond and Z is the for the light yellow color. Color is classified on the following basis
- Tone of the diamond is referred as the darkness or the lightness of the hue.
- Hue is referred to as the modifiers or the dominant colors that may be present in the diamonds
- Saturation, however, is the intensity of the hue or tone or in short the intensity of color. Saturation is represented on the scale of GIA as the fancy color grade, for example as fancy, intense and light.
Natural diamonds come into existence when their carbon structures is exposed to the enormous amount of heat and pressure and this heat and pressure results into different characteristic within the diamond for examples blemishes and inclusions. To evaluate the diamond clarity requires determining the number, nature, and size of these inclusions and how they affect the appearance of the diamonds. The closer is the number on the grading scale the more clear the diamond is.
According to GIA, there are 6 categories for the Diamond clarity and out of which some are divided into total of 11 grades.
- “Flawless (FL): Under 10X magnification no inclusions or no blemishes.
- Internally Flawless (IF): No inclusions visible under 10x magnification
- Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2): Inclusions are observed with effort under 10x magnification, but can be characterized as minor
- Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2): Inclusions so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
- Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2): Inclusions noticeable under 10x magnification
- Included (I1, I2, and I3): Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification which may affect transparency and brilliance.”
From the word cut, shape of diamond comes to one’s mind. But here the cut means how the diamond facets reflect light. A proper cut is extremely significant as it determines symmetry, proportions and most importantly polish that makes its sparkle. Among all the 4Cs, cut is most crucial part as it determines the overall appearance of the diamond.
To determine the cut grade of the standard round brilliant diamond – the shape that dominates the majority of diamond jewelry, GIA calculates the proportions of those facets that influence the diamond’s face-up appearance. These proportions allow GIA to evaluate how successfully a diamond interacts with light to create desirable visual effects such as”
- Brightness: White light reflection from the internal and the external surface of a diamond
- Fire: White light scattering into rainbow colors.
- Scintillation: Sparkle produce by the diamond and the reflection causing the pattern of light and dark areas.
A carat contains 200 milligrams. Each carat can be subdivided into 100 points. This allows very precise measurements to the hundredth decimal place. A jeweler may describe the weight of a diamond below one carat by its points alone. For instance, the jeweler may refer to a diamond that weighs 0.25 carats as a twenty-five pointer. Diamond weighing greater than one carat is expressed in carats and decimals. A 1.08 carat stone would be described as one carat oh eight.
All else being equal, diamond price increases with diamond carat weight, because larger diamonds are rare and desirable. But two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values and prices depending on other factors of the diamond 4C’s: Clarity, Color and Cut.
There you go – a comprehensive description of the factors considered to determine the quality of argyle diamonds. Keep these in mind when you go out to either purchase or sell an argyle diamond. These will surely help you pick out the best diamond possible by taking into consideration your budget and preferences. Isn’t that exactly what you want?
Value of Argyle Diamond
To assess price and value of Argyles, the purity of color is a large component. Most diamonds have at least one secondary color, so pure Argyle Diamonds are considered extremely rare and valuable. The higher the intensity or strength of the color, the more expensive the stone. Along with that when the Argyle diamonds are observed under the UV light they give off the unique fluorescence which can be seen in almost every Argyle diamonds.
Argyle Diamond Intensity Levels
Due to natures’ act, the colored diamond not only contains its own natural color but the reactivity with certain elements brings about the different hues of diamond. In order to grade all these colored diamonds, GIA had standardized the grading scale that ranges from fancy deep, fancy intense, fancy vivid to light and faint light. Alost all of the colored diamonds follow this grading scale.
Argyle Colored Diamond
Work of nature in creating different variety and intensity of colors in diamonds, has excited everyone. People can now buy any color if diamond according to their taste. Here is quick review about different argyle colored diamonds.
- Argyle Yellow Diamonds
In the GIA grading scale, the white diamond stretches from D to Z where D falls for colorless pure transparent diamond while Z is for discernible yellow color. Extending the scale, as the intensity of the color increases the color standard would run to Fancy Vivid Yellow. The color of yellow arises from the trace element of nitrogen and the intensity of the color increases with the amount of the nitrogen. A pure yellow diamond is known as Canary Yellow diamond. Yellow diamond also comes with the hues of brown and orange of various intensity levels. These are more readily available unlike some of the other colored diamonds and are relatively cheap.
Depending on the different hues of the yellow diamond it comes in different intensity levels so it can be places in the specific grading scale. Fancy deep, fancy intense, fancy vivid, fancy, fancy light, light, very light and faint. Interestingly as cheap as it gets, the hues of brown or orange makes it less valuable while on the other hand some tint of other colors like green or orange makes it more valuable hence, it’s the game of colors. Although there is a comprehensive grade scale to grade it but it still sometimes gets difficult due to small tints of different colors. Some of the most famous examples of the yellow diamonds are Tiffany Yellow Diamond, Kimberley octahedral, the sun of Africa Yellow Diamond, The Florentine Diamond etc.
- Argyle Green Diamonds
Color of green diamond is due to the result of exposure to the radioactive elements endured by stone over million years. Even though the color green was ensued from subjection to the radioactivity, they are not radioactive by its nature so they are as save as any other diamond. The reason that its color is formed due to the interaction with the radioactive element, it is rare to find and are harmless. Green color diamond also comes in variety of colors ranging from faint, light green, fancy, fancy vivid, fancy intense and fancy deep. Like other colored diamond, the green diamond also comes in different tinted colors for example secondary hues of yellow, brown, blue and grey. Green diamonds are also rare of its kind like Drezden Diamond, Aurora Green etc.
- Argyle Red Diamonds
Argyle Red Diamond is the rarest of colored diamonds and is considered as the most valuable and the one commanding premium pricing. Red diamonds have no varying levels of intensity, with the absence of secondary shades such as purple and orange. Gemologists have been unable to determine the origin of the red diamonds color and this adds to the fascination and desire to own one. Red diamonds are the only colored diamond that is not graded in the standard scale of Vivid, Intense or Fancy. The grading is based on modifiers present in the stone or on the effect modifiers have on the red color. The presence of a purplish red overtone is regarded by many as the most appealing however, other modifiers are orange and brown, which are at the lower end of desirability and hence value. The most famous red diamond is Argyle Everglow.
- Argyle Orange Diamonds
Orange diamonds like yellow diamonds gets their color from the existence of the nitrogen element. In the process of formation of the orange diamond there is absorption of the tints of yellow and blue light. The grading scale for the intensity levels of the orange diamond ranges from the fancy deep, fancy intense, fancy vivid orange, and fancy light to light orange and faint orange. Although these intensity levels provide a variety of the colored diamonds but the tints make them less valuable than the pure diamond. But still they are highly desirable for the customers who cannot afford the pure diamond so they can go with the ones tinted with other colors like pink, yellow and brown, or the combination.
- Argyle Pink Diamonds
The pink diamonds are divided into four categories: Purplish Pink, Pink, Pink Rosé and Pink Champagne. The diamonds are graded based on their color intensity. This ranges from 1 (the highest) to 9 (the lowest). But what distinguishes the normal pink diamonds with the Argyle pink diamonds? Normally pink diamonds from the other mines are less intense in color. While the Argyle pink diamonds have more saturation and intensity of pink color. One of the reasons behind this intensity is the planes or the graining line found in the stones that contributes towards this uniqueness. That is why they are said to be rare diamonds.
Most famous of the argyle pink diamond is the Pink Jubilee that set break the record by weighing 12.6 carats.
- Argyle Blue Diamonds
Blue diamonds are also consider as the rarest of its kind and accounts for less than 1 percent of the total colored diamonds production. You must be wondering, like other diamonds where the blue color comes from? The presence of the boron imparts the blue color to the diamond. Like other diamonds have the grading scale for the different intensity levels, blue diamond have the same range for the color intensity. The 4Cs of cut, color, clarity and carat are used to access the value for the diamond and most important of these is color. Without doubt, the pure blue diamond is most valuable but it also comes in beautiful hues of grey-blue, green-blue etc. Blue diamond due to the limited supply is an important factor for the investment. Famous Blue diamond is the Hope Diamond.
- Argyle Black Diamonds
Black diamonds are the most common among all the colored diamonds. Two types of black diamond could be seen in the market a) Natural black diamond and b) Synthetic black diamond. The black diamond inherits its color for the graphite that is constituted in it.
Black diamonds are characterized by having large numbers of inclusions and small blemishes which have less brilliance. These flaws interfere with the path of light through the diamond and affect a gemstone’s appearance. The huge number of inclusions, color the entire stone black, sufficient to be considered a gemstone. Black diamonds are considered the hardest of all colored diamonds. The major use for black diamonds is for jewelry rather than as an investment.
The stones tend to look best when paired with a contrasting color metal like white gold or platinum. Examples of current types of jewelry include black diamond engagement rings, earrings, bracelets and other high-end jewelry. Unlike other colored diamonds black diamonds are found in only one color intensity: fancy Black. Similar to white diamonds the 4Cs of cut, clarity, color and carat should all be considered when purchasing a black diamond gemstone. Take account of these factors to determine the quality of a black diamond. One point to consider is that the black color is fully saturated throughout the stone. Usually there is a very small difference between natural stones and synthetic stones hence one should be extremely careful that you get the quality and stone you are expecting. Known examples of the black diamond are Gruosi diamond, Korloff Noir, Black Star of Africa etc.
- Argyle Champagne & Cognac Diamonds
Champagne and Cognac diamonds are naturally occurring diamonds, ranging in color from a warm straw gold to a deep chocolate color. They were originally known as brown diamonds and are considered lower colored diamonds due to their relative abundance. Argyle Diamonds realized the intrinsic beauty in these colors and promoted Champagne and Cognac diamonds to the world.
There is a grading system for Champagne and Cognac diamonds with a range from C1 to C6, where one is the lightest color and six the most intense. Champagne diamonds graded C1 and C2 are light champagne, C3 and C4 medium champagne, and C5 and C6 dark champagne. Diamonds graded C7 are considered Cognac colored, as they exhibit the most intense, deep brown color. The main use for Champagne and Cognac diamonds is in jewelry and due to their abundance, they are very rarely purchased as an investment. They are included here as they are a colored diamond.
- Argyle Purple Diamonds
Purple color is due to the existence of the significant amount of the presence of the boron and hydrogen. Both the element combines to give the diamond its purple color. Like any other colored diamond, the purple diamond also comes in different intensity levels for which the grading scale is the same, ranging from fancy deep to faint purple. Secondary hues of pink, grey are common rather than red and brown hues.
Is GIA Certification Necessary?
A GIA grading report is highly desirable when purchasing a loose diamond over a certain size, so you can quickly and easily check that you are getting what you paid for. GIA grades all types of diamonds and it is an internationally recognized authority on diamonds given that it is fair, neutral, and are trusted by jewelers worldwide to accurately and consistently certify diamonds. Even though it is possible to buy diamonds without grading or certification, we recommend choosing a correctly certified stone like this, or dealing with a trusted, GIA certified diamond specialist like us, where you can be guaranteed of quality and transparency in your purchase.
Is Argyle Mine Closing?
- Date of Closure
The owner of the Argyle diamond mine Rio Tinto announced in 2013 the closure of the argyle mine in near future. He said that underground portion of the argyle mine has been opened up to extend the life time of the diamond mine. But it will not last longer. The shortage of the diamonds stores would mark the end of the argyle mine and is expected to be in 2020. What this entails is that one of the most significant and popular diamond producing mine will be closed. Needless to say, it will have an immediate and drastic impact on the supply of premium quality diamonds.
- Reason of Closure
Elaborating further Tinto said that this closure is due to the decline in the sources of diamonds. In the market the average demand of diamond is increasing at the rate of 1 percent to 4 percent per year while the market supply of Argyle diamonds are increasing only at the rate of 2 percent per year, which is way below to meet the demand. Rio Tinto also said in its recent report that the closure criterion is reviewed against cost and prices as well as operational performance of the mine.
So the shutdown of the argyle diamond mine would not only limit pink diamond but other colored diamonds and it would overall decrease the supply of the diamonds in the market along with the other impacts that are unknown. This shutdown of the argyle mine operation would surely be marked as an end of the era.
The Argyle mine is a good example of a modern, open-pit mining operation where diamonds are recovered economically on a large scale. Its discovery produced a new understanding among geologists of the conditions of diamond occurrence as with diamond deposits in other remote regions.
Without doubt, Argyle mine holds a special place in the market. This is why investors, as well as potential customers, have been speculating as to what will happen when the mining of diamonds at the Argyle mine will come to an end.
When it comes to buying Argyle diamonds either to adorn yourself or your loved one, you need to look no further than Talore Diamonds .
As a trusted leader in the field of colored diamonds, Talore Diamonds offer a wide variety of natural fancy colored diamonds in a range of vivid hues and saturations.
With years of experience in dealing with diamonds, and extensive stock that is picked by a panel of diamond experts to meet the highest standards of quality, cut, clarity and rarity value, Talore Diamonds brings to you the very best.
Talore Diamonds offers a wide selection of the best quality colored diamonds in an array of price brackets. Whether you want to buy high quality, well cut and rare natural diamonds set in a range of platinum, white gold and gold rings or a single one-carat diamond solitaire necklace for a special someone, you can trust Talore Diamonds to deliver.
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