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

By Mike Fried,

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 buying guide
To help you with the diamond buying process we lean on our expertise and experience. The author of this article, our CEO, Mike Fried has over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. Mike started from the bottom, sorting and evaluating hundreds of thousands of diamonds to learn every facet (pun intended) of diamond quality and value. Mike followed that up by spending years buying and selling diamonds on the wholesale market as well as selling tens of millions of dollars worth of diamonds to diamond retailers.

Bottom Line Recommendation:

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.

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Argyle Diamond Intensity Levels

While the diamond 4 Cs (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.


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 from Leibish & Co. 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 $180,000—depending on the quality of the color—a similar Argyle stone would easily fetch over $200,000. As an example, this is a beautiful 1.02 Carat intense pink from Leibish & Co. that will cost you $193,000. Compare that price to this 1.01 carat intense pink Argyle from Leibish & Co. 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 from Leibish & Co.

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 from Leibish & Co.

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 from Leibish & co.

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 from Leibish & Co.

Argyle Diamond earrings inspiration: Argyle Fancy Pink Diamond Floral Halo Earrings from Leibish & Co.

Argyle Diamond pendant inspiration: Fancy Pink Round Diamond Drop Pendant from Leibish & Co.

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

Leibish & Co Leibish & Co is the industry leader in the world of Fancy Color Diamonds. Their inventory size and prices are the best in the business, and their expertise in this highly specialized field will ensure that your diamond is set in a way to maximize its color.
What we love about them:
  • Largest and best inventory of fancy color diamonds
  • Best prices for fancy color diamonds
  • Industry leading expertise will ensure the color of your diamond is maximized in its setting
  • Leading bidders in the annual Argyle auction
  • Highest quality jewelry available online
  • Free shipping
  • Free resizing within first 2 years of purchase
  • Items comes with professional appraisal for insurance
  • 30 day no questions asked free return policy
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About the author

Mike Fried Mike Fried Mike Fried has over 25 years experience in the diamond industry working with Leo Schachter Diamonds, Moshe Namdar Diamonds, and joining The Diamond Pro in 2007. He is recognized as an industry expert and has been quoted in publications such as Us, People, Page Six, The Next Web and more.

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