Argyle Diamonds: Where They’re From and What You Should Know

By Michael Fried

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argyle diamond buying guide

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It’s essential to buy an argyle diamond from a vendor with high-quality photos. Color, and therefore value, can vary greatly even within a specific color grade. In our experience, Leibish & Co. offers the best prices and overall customer experience in the Fancy Color Diamond market. Additionally, Leibish & Co provides the highest level of expertise in bringing out the maximum color of the stone when set in jewelry.

If you’re looking for the most beautiful pink diamond for your money, a non-branded pink is your best bet. If you’re interested in a long-term family heirloom, an argyle diamond may be better, as it’s more rare and valuable.

Origin of Argyle Diamond’s Color

Argyle Diamonds come by their name rightly: they’re from the specific Argyle mine in Western Australia. Though some of the diamonds from Argyle are pink, not all of them are—as pink diamonds are very rare. In a certain sense, the Argyle name is a brand name. They’ve even developed their own grading report for pink diamonds and a unique color chart for other Fancy diamonds.

The unique composition of Argyle diamonds is attributed to a volcanic pipe—commonly known as the Argyle pipe—made of olivine lamproite. Due to an eruption, minerals such as zeolite, micas, kaolinite and clays interacted with the diamonds during their formation. Most Argyle diamonds contain small amounts of nitrogen impurities, but the majority of their color is tied to structural defects of the crystal lattice.

Argyle Diamond Intensity Levels

While the 4Cs (Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat) pertain to Argyle diamonds as much they do to other diamonds, the Argyle company has devised their own system of grading color. The pink diamonds are divided into four categories: PP (Purplish Pink), P (Pink), Pink Rosé (PR) and PC (Pink Champagne). Then, the diamonds are graded based on their color intensity. This ranges from 1 (the highest) to 9 (the lowest).

The Argyle pink diamonds found in the mine are usually more of a bubblegum-like pink tone with an excellent appearance. Red, however, is the rarest color of Argyle diamond.

5PR-3PR-1PR-Argyle-Diamond-Color-Intensities

Argyle Diamond Rarity and Prices

The Argyle mine supplies over 90% of the world’s pink diamonds. That being said, only one in every two and a half million tons of ore processed in the mine contains a pink diamond. Over the past few years, a considerable decline in Argyle pink diamond production has occurred, and it seems to be continuing in that direction.

While Argyle diamonds do have a distinct color to them, it’s their perceived prestige that makes them even more expensive than pink diamonds in general. Color is by far the most important pricing factor when it comes to Fancy Color Diamonds—and this certainly applies to those from the Argyle mine. Among all of the diamond colors available, pink is one of the rarest and probably the most popular.

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.

Between the low supply, high demand and impending closure of the Argyle mine, Argyle diamond prices are likely to continue to feel upward pressure. Argyle’s limited supply and the popularity of pink diamonds are only part of the puzzle, though; the company has done well to market the company’s exclusive and prestigious Argyle Tender. For example, a diamond-like this 0.37 Carat Fancy Intense Pink Round would have cost you less than $20,000 a few years ago while it would likely sell for triple that price now.

As expensive as “regular” pink diamonds are, certified Argyle pink diamonds are even more expensive. While a 1 carat fancy pink (not a round) could go for roughly $140,000 to $180,000depending on the quality of the colora similar Argyle stone would easily fetch over $200,000. As an example, this is a beautiful 1.02 Carat intense pink that will cost you $193,000. Compare that price to this 1.01 carat intense pink Argyle that’s priced at $447,178. This is obviously a substantial price difference.

The decision to purchase an Argyle stone, in our opinion, hinges on what your motivations are. Are you simply searching for the best looking pink diamond for your money? If so, then a non-branded pink is probably your best bet. But if you’re interested in the stone as a long-term family heirloom or investment with prestige, an Argyle stone might be the best choice, especially considering the dwindling supply.

Argyle Diamond Engagement Ring Settings

Style 1: Halo setting

A halo setting can enhance an Argyle diamond by adding more Carat weight and size to the ring. Choose a Diamond Shape that matches the wearer’s unique style.

Halo setting example: Fancy Intense Purplish Pink Pear Halo Diamond Ring

Style 2: Pavé setting

With smaller stones embedded in the band, a pavé highlights the stone and offers plenty of accents, too.

Pavé setting example: Fancy Intense Pink, Emerald-cut Diamond Two-Tone Ring

Style 3: Tension setting

Let your Argyle diamond stand on its own in a tension setting. The unique setting uses pressure to secure the diamond.

Tension setting example: Fancy Vivid Pink Round Brilliant Solitaire Ring

Popular Jewelry Settings for Argyle Diamonds

Argyle diamonds aren’t just stunning in engagement rings. They make for beautiful earrings, necklaces and bracelets too.

Argyle Diamond necklace inspiration: Violet and Intense Pink Diamond Necklace

Argyle Diamond earrings inspiration: Argyle Fancy Pink Diamond Floral Halo Earrings

Argyle Diamond pendant inspiration: Fancy Pink Round Diamond Drop Pendant

Need some help selecting the right Argyle Diamond? Contact our experts for a professional opinion.

About the author
Mike learned the diamond business from the ground-up at Leo Schachter Diamonds - one of the world's top diamond manufacturers. He has been recognized as a diamond industry expert by Time, PeopleMoney, The Daily Mirror, NerdWallet, The Times Herald, Yahoo Finance Australia, The Art of Charm, The Washington Diplomat, The Next Web, and more. See more
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