Argyle Mine Closure & The Implications

05.09.2019 | Diamonds | Industry News

Natural colored diamonds are one of nature’s best kept secrets. Among these treasures, the pink diamond has risen and come to the forefront as one of the world’s most intriguing stones generously provided to us by our Mother Earth.

Argyle's Origins

Located in the remote East Kimberly region of Western Australia, the Argyle mine has developed a reputation for producing the most esteemed pink diamonds ever known to man. Its opening in 1983 resulted in a great shift within the diamond market, which brought public awareness to the unmatched beauty of pinks, reds, and violets.  

Arygle’s famed marketing slogan, Beyond Rare, exemplifies the sheer rarity of pink diamonds. To give you some context, these stones account for less than 0.1% of the world’s total production of rough.

Still, Argyle mine is recognized for consistently producing 90% of the world’s pink diamonds with distinctive saturations. In the past, global stock of pink diamonds was sporadic, at best, and the color quality incomparable.

Argyle's Exclusivity

Most people, whether in the trade or otherwise, don’t know much about this revered mine, including where to source the special pinks or just how important they are and this isn’t by coincidence. The Argyle mine has developed a distinct marketing strategy, which emphasizes its exclusivity. 

Argyle hosts an annual ‘by invitation only’ tender as the sole means of procuring their revered jewels. This tender is now recognized as the world’s most important global diamond sale, which includes about 55-65 of the most extraordinary pink, red, and violet diamonds unearthed from the mine. The highlighted stones stand apart from others in their extreme vibrancy and intensity of color.

Invitations are only extended to carefully selected diamantaires and collectors. We can proudly attest to Dehres being invited from the very first year. From personal experience, we’d like to share how it works. Tenders travel to most global major cities, where they’ll accommodate private appointments during allocated timeslots. The location remains undisclosed until a few days before the predetermined date and time.

The setting is most often a suite in a prestigious hotel surrounded by elegantly dressed and gloved professional sales-people, as well as, security guards. To purchase a stone, invited guests submit a one-time anonymous bid carefully thought out by experienced buyers based on their knowledge of the market and market prices. The highest bidder earns the esteem that comes with owning an Argyle-mined diamond. Ultimately, the entire experience boasts illustrious status.

In addition to the exclusivity of the tenders themselves, the Argyle mine adheres to a marketing strategy also used by a number of luxury retail brands,which involves releasing a limited number of inventory to the public. Not only does this drive up brand image, but also demand and, therefore, price. To back this up is an interesting statistic: Since it first opened in 35 years, Argyle has only released 2,500 stones, each of which is inscribed and certified. This is definitely reflected in prices of argyle vivid pinks, which are a 50-70% premium compared with others.

"If you want to have an idea of the price you can look at the reserves of auctions every year; the best diamonds are sold in Geneva so typically of this quality from Argyle they would attract several million dollars per carat," says chief executive Arnaud Soirat.

Argyle Closure

After nearly 4 decades, Argyle mine is expected to close operations, according to mine owner Rio Tinto. Over the last few years, prices for these famed pinks have been rising at impressive rates. However, the mine's closure leads an expected exponential rise due to the limited quantity. Gemologists note that the chances of locating a mine that will produce stones of the same stature and quality are extremely low. Still, even if another source is discovered, it will take another 15 years before the precious diamonds would make it to the market.

For these reasons, we believe that there is no better time to purchase an Argyle pink diamond. It would be a fine investment "yielding long-term returns in excess of 10 per cent per annum" according to executive director at diamond investment firm Australian Diamond Portfolio, Anna Cisecki. 

Argyle & Dehres

Over the years, Dehres has acquired a large sum of the famous Argyle pinks and reds. We are proud of our collection and will be displaying them in, both, the upcoming Hong Kong AWE Gemstone Fair (Booth 9JG-19) and the CEC Jewellery Fair (Booth GH-C04). 

However, here are some stones we'd like to highlight beforehand. The first is a Pear Shaped Fancy Intense Purplish-Pink VS2 stone weighing 0.65 carats. Did you know that only one in one hundred thousand diamonds possesses a color deep enough to quality as 'fancy'? Next is an Oval shaped Fancy Visit Purplish-Pink SI1 diamond at 0.66 carats. Finally, we have an impressive 0.67 carat Fancy Red VVS1 Radiant cut diamond. 



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