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Think Pink: An Inside Look at Pink Diamonds

an inside look at pink diamonds
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What makes pink diamonds pink? Are pink diamonds rare? Let’s take an inside look at one of the world’s rarest gemstones and discover why everybody loves them. Follow along!

A Brief History of Pink Diamonds

Pink diamonds are one of the oldest diamonds in the world and have existed for 1.6 billion years. Further, they are not only old, but they are also the rarest.

Historically, the first pink diamond was said to have been discovered in the Kollur mine in India which was part of the Golconda Kingdom. They have also been found in Brazil throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as in countries like Canada, Russia, and South Africa until their discovery in Australia.

Australia’s Argyle diamond mine, the world’s fourth-biggest diamond producer, has also become the world’s largest supplier of natural colored diamonds. At one point, Argyle produced 90% of the world’s pink diamond supply although fewer than 1% of the mine’s output was actually pink diamonds; thereby, making them the rarest of the rare.

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The End of an Era: Diamond Mines are Not Forever

The Argyle Mine closed in November 2020 proving that while diamonds are forever, the supplies are not. This closure only makes pink diamonds even rarer and more valuable. Rio Tinto, the owner of the Argyle Mine, delivered a dazzling penultimate showcase in the 2020 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender. The Tender presented a collection of 62 rare pink and other rare colored diamonds from a year’s production.

2.24-carat fancy-vivid-purplish-pink Argyle Eternity pink diamond
A 2.24 carat Argyle Eternity™ pink diamond sold to Kunming Diamonds. Image: Rio Tinto

The most valuable diamond in the collection, Lot Number 1, 2.24 carat Argyle Eternity™, is a vivid purplish-pink round diamond sold to Hong Kong’s fancy colored diamond specialist Kunming Diamonds. It is also the most valuable Fancy Vivid diamond in the 37-year history of Rio Tinto’s Tender.

Reportedly, the final Tender is set for 2021.

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What Makes Pink Diamonds Pink?

What makes pink diamond pink

While other diamonds acquire their color from chemical impurities, for instance, yellow diamond from nitrogen and boron for blue ones, the same cannot be said for pink diamonds as these impurities have not been found in them.

Solving the mystery, the GIA dove deep into the crystal structure and found that of over 90,000 natural pink diamonds, the color of 99.5% of pink diamonds comes from a distortion in their crystal structure.

Other scientists have also discovered that pink diamonds have pink zones only that alternate with clear areas. They call these zones twin planes—a form of shock as a result of volcanic activity. When these twin planes form and have contact with each other, this defect gives rise to pink color.

Like other gems, pink diamonds come in different shades. Based on the traditional diamond grading system, your pink diamond can have a grading of faint, very, light, light, fancy light, fancy intense, fancy deep, and fancy vivid. This is different from the Argyle grading method where they divide the pink diamonds into four categories:

  1. PP – Purplish Pink
  2. P – Pink
  3. PR -Pink Rose
  4. PC – Pink Champagne

Based on its color density, each category gets a number between one (1) to nine (9) while pink champagne only goes until three (3). A number one (1) indicates the highest color intensity while nine (9) has the lowest color intensity. As such, following the Argyle grading method, the highest quality purplish-pink diamond would get a grade of 1PP, 1P for pink, and 1PR for pink rose.

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Tickled Me Pink: The Most Popular Pink Diamonds in the World

Due to its rarity, beauty, and value, it’s not surprising that the wealthy and famous covet these beautiful pink gems. Below, you will find the most popular pink gems throughout history.

  • The Daria-I-Noor

The world’s largest cut pink diamond, Daria-I-Noor is a whopping 186-carat pale pink gem discovered in the Kollur Mine in India. The gem is currently part of the Iranian Crown Jewels.

  • Graff Pink Orchid

Owned by Graff, the marquise-cut 22.84-carat purplish-pink diamond was believed to have been bought in the rough before it was set to make a complete pink diamond engagement ring.

  • Hortensia

The Hortensia is a 20.53-carat light pink diamond with a five-sided outline mined from India and is one of the Golconda diamonds. It was named after the Queen of Holland, Hortense de Beauharnais, and is part of the French Crown Jewels.

  • Noor-ul-Ain

The Noor-ul-Ain or Light of the Eye is another Golconda diamond. This 60-carat pale pink, oval brilliant-cut diamond is now part of the Imperial Crown Jewels collection. Reports stated that the Daria-I-Noor and the Noor-ul-Ain came from the same rare 400-carat, pale pink diamond known as the Great Table Diamond by the 17th-century French Traveler and expert gem trader, Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, who had first seen it at Golconda.

  • The Sakura Diamond

Just because it doesn’t have a similarly deep historical tale as the others, it doesn’t mean it can’t be part of the league. The Sakura Diamond is a 15.81-carat fancy vivid purple-pink internally flawless type IIA diamond that’s predicted to fetch $38M at the auction happening on May 23, 2021. With its size, Sakura is the largest purple-pink diamond to ever appear at the auction.

Sakura, or cherry blossom which is the national flower of Japan, symbolizes optimism and renewal. With its charming appearance and romantic vibe, it’s easily the star of Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale this May in Hong Kong.

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Meanings and Representations

Aside from the fact that pink diamond is mysterious given that scientists were unable to pinpoint exactly the defect causing its color, this rosy gemstone is a breathtaking beauty that best represents loving emotions. For instance, during the Elizabethan era, pink spoke of love, passion, tenderness, and happiness.

And why not? true love could be as rare as a pink diamond.

How to Photograph Pink Diamonds with the GemLightbox

In this section, we’ll show you how we photograph and take 360 videos of an Argyle pink diamond using the GemLightbox Macro.

The GemLightbox Macro (and GemLoupe!) is the newest addition to the GemLightbox jewelry photography solutions. It captures 10x magnified loose stone images and 360 videos beautifully using just a smartphone.

Step 1. Power up the GemLightbox Macro and remove the front reflector cover.

Remove the reflector cover

Step 2. Place the pink diamond on the gem holder inside the Macro.

Step 2. Place the diamond on the gem holder

After removing the front reflector cover, place the rosy gemstone on the gem holder inside the GemLightbox Macro and then, put back the cover.

Macro comes with three gem holders in three different sizes and colors.

  • Small gem holders for stones under 1ct.
  • Medium gem holders for stones under 10ct.
  • Large gem holders for stones between 10ct and 50ct.

Meanwhile, the colors are white, grey, and black; thereby, allowing you to take photos and 360 videos on different solid-colored backgrounds to match your marketing and sales messages.

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Step 3. Position the smartphone on the smartphone holder and open the GemLightbox app.

Step 3. Position the smartphone holder

After placing the gemstone inside the Macro, put back the front reflector cover and position your smartphone on the smartphone holder. You can watch here to know how to set up your smartphone holder properly.

Then, open the GemLightbox app and get ready to capture. The GemLightbox app is a free app that optimizes your camera phone settings for diamond photography to ensure studio-quality shots every click.

Step 4. Click to capture!

Step 4. Click to capture

Finally when you’re ready, click to capture!

For this Macro demonstration, we captured a 0.74ct radiant-cut, VS2, 5PR Argyle pink diamond on a black background using an iPhone. The GemLightbox app allows jewelers and diamond dealers to capture videos at a 45, 90, or 360-degree angle.

After taking images and 360 videos, don’t forget to save them on the GemLightbox app gallery where you can easily post them to your social media platforms or email them directly to your buyers without photo retouching required!

See the results below!

0.74ct radiant-cut, VS2, 5PR Argyle pink diamond
0.74ct radiant-cut, VS2, 5PR Argyle pink diamond
0.74ct radiant-cut, VS2, 5PR Argyle pink diamond
A 360-video of a 0.74ct radiant-cut, VS2, 5PR Argyle pink diamond

Watch the complete GemLightbox Macro demonstration below!

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