With the closure of the fabled Argyle mine looming in 2020, the demand for pink diamonds is poised to heat up.
Among coloured diamonds, pink is considered a rare hue. So investors have never hesitated to pay a king’s ransom to own one – notably the huge 59.6 carat CTF Pink Star, which set the world auction record for jewels when Hong Kong jeweller Chow Tai Fook bought it at US$71.2 million (S$96.9 million) in 2017. Now that the mine responsible for 90 per cent of the pink rocks worldwide is closing next year, prices will only skyrocket.
The Argyle mine, located in Western Australia, is the only known reliable producer of this coloured gem. Yet, of its entire output of 800 million carats of diamonds over 36 years, only a meagre 0.01 percent has been fancy pink, fancy vivid being the priciest grade. There is an upside to the increasing scarcity, though. Says Singapore-based Simone Ng of Simone Jewels: “Our brand invested in a small lot of pink Argyle diamonds more than ﬁve years ago. Most have been sold and this is the moment our customers have been waiting for.”
Even those that weigh less than the CTF Pink Star command astounding prices. On Oct 7, Sotheby’s Hong Kong sold a 10.64 carat fancy vivid purplish pink diamond (pictured) for US$19.9 million. In comparison, an 88.22 carat ﬂawless D-colour diamond was sold by Sotheby’s Asia in April for just US$13.8 million.
Gemologist Paige Parker, who designed an Argyle-pink ring for Phillips’ Hong Kong recently, says: “Argyle pinks will become major collectibles, like Golconda colourless diamonds.” Among the latter is the famous Hope Diamond, from a 16th-century Indian mine that has since shuttered. Time will tell, but she probably isn’t too far off the mark.
PHOTO SOTHEBY’S HONG KONG