IGI to Certify Pink Argyle Mine Diamonds
The International Gemological Institute (IGI), the world’s largest independent gemological laboratory, will certify a second curated collection of pink diamonds that were unearthed at Australia’s Argyle Mine prior to its closure last year. These “Argyle pinks” will be accompanied by IGI reports and security-seals, designed to commemorate the renowned mine, which supplied over 90% of the globe’s extremely rare pink and red diamonds.
Launched in 2017, the first collection produced 2,000 reports and seals worldwide. The second collection, which was formally released in Australia at the beginning of 2021, is poised to exceed 1,000 reports created within the next several months.
“Amid the challenges presented during the last year, the Institute is proud to be certifying a substantial quantity of pink diamonds,” said IGI Managing Director Deborah Pienica. “We are confident in the success of this collection and are honored to work alongside John Glajz on another special edition.”
Argyle’s authorized partner in Singapore, John Glajz, is offering the diamonds as “The Collector’s Edition™ of Argyle pink diamonds.” The latest series’ design pays homage to the discovery of the Argyle Mine on top of an anthill in 1979 in the Australian outback.
According to Glajz, “The collaboration with IGI means the pink diamonds are independently sealed and certified by an internationally recognized gemological laboratory. The Collector’s Edition™ continues to be the most attainable and secure way to purchase these extremely rare diamonds and preserve the mine’s legacy for years to come.”
The Argyle Mine operated for 37 years and produced 865 million carats of rough diamonds. While only a fraction of those were pink or red, Argyle remained the only significant source of diamonds in those colors, and their beauty and rarity created high demand and a steady increase in value. According to Rio Tinto, the mine’s owner, Argyle pinks have risen in value by 500% over the last 20 years.
Argyle also yielded other naturally colored diamonds, including champagne, cognac and blue; however, pink diamonds do not gain their appearance from elements such as nitrogen or boron, unlike most colored diamonds. Instead, the unique coloration of pink and red diamonds is created by distortions in the crystal lattice resulting from intense heat and pressure during their formation. Geologically, the mine was one of a kind, ensconcing its precious gems in lamproite rather than kimberlite.
“We have enjoyed creating numerous iconic pieces and limited edition jewelry lines under the Argyle brand for almost 20 years,” noted Glajz, who is also the Ambassador for the Natural Color Diamond Association (NCDIA) in Singapore. “Our niche was the fancy color diamond market.
We chose this direction as the product is extremely rare with only finite quantities existing. With the mine now officially closed, supply will only be available from the secondary market, so our work with IGI provides the ideal instrument to continue the independent identification and grading, as well as the effective marketing and global distribution of these esteemed diamonds.”