In honor of the famed Australian Argyle Mine’s recent closure, we’re sharing more about this record-breaking mine known for producing stunning and exceedingly rare pink diamonds.
Also, in serendipitous timing, a magical parcel of pink, purple, and champagne diamonds just arrived on the Gem Breakfast doorstep, sourced from the now-closed Argyle mine by Misfit Diamonds. Browse through the jaw-droppingly #extra, extremely rare diamonds to fulfill all your diamond dusted dreams!
How The Argyle Mine Began
Founded in 1983 with a budget of only $100,000, the Argyle Mine was the first major diamond-mining operation in Australia, and quickly became the #1 most productive diamond mine on the planet. In total, the mine produced 865 million carats of rough diamonds –the most of any mine in the world!
What Argyle is famous for: Pink & Champagne Diamonds
Up until it’s closure, The Argyle Mine was the only steady source of the incredibly rare and valuable pink diamonds – producing 90 – 95% of the world’s supply,
Despite being the pink diamond mecca, pink diamonds only made up 1% of Argyle’s total production. About 80% of Argyle diamonds were fancy brown, 15% champagne diamonds, 4% white and grey, and that tiny 1% sliver of both pink and green diamonds.
The Argyle mine is known for coining the terms “champagne” and “cognac” diamonds, plus, the widely-used color scale for champagne diamonds. Before their arrival on the diamond scene, it was bright white diamonds or nothing. They shifted people’s perceptions, helping them see the unique, buttery gorgeousness of champagne diamonds.
What the closure means for pink diamonds
Pink diamonds are one of the rarest diamonds in the world – for every 1 million carats of rough diamonds found, only 1 percent are of gem-quality (can be used in jewelry). Most of these ridiculously rare pink diamonds are sold at exclusive auctions with prices averaging $100,000 per carat!
If you’re a lover of the ultra-exclusive and ridiculously rare, you’ll love browsing through our catalogueof pink, champagne, and fancy brown argyle diamonds! Since the main pink diamond supplier is now closed, their prices are predicted to skyrocket with no other reliable source of these diamond colors.
Argyle Mine's protection of the environment
Not only did they supply stunning stones, right from the beginning, the Argyle Mine made protecting the environment a top priority with efforts like:
- Minimizing impacts on plant-life and local water quality.
- Consultation with aboriginal communities to minimize their impact on the local land and community.
- Restoration of the environment and land that mining operations disrupted. This will be ongoing for the next 5 years.
- Limiting greenhouse gases with the use of hydroelectric power.
With their great environmental record, the Argyle mine received an ISO Certification verifying their excellence in environmental protection and management. Majestic pink diamonds and protecting the environment – a perfect marriage in our books.
Why The Mine's Closing
After many years of digging, the mines are now too deep to justify more mining. Also, dropping diamond prices meant the mine wouldn’t be making much profit. Argyle’s closure is a sad day for pink diamonds, but a great moment to celebrate an amazing Australian success story that forever changed people’s perceptions on champagne and fancy brown diamonds.
For the full, geology-buff history of the Argyle mine, head over to the GIA!