Pink Diamond: A Buying Guide

Natural Fancy Pink Diamonds

Pink diamonds are extremely rare, and therefore very valuable, prized by consumers and collectors alike. Since the first reported discoveries of pink diamonds centuries ago, they have been found all over the world in spots as distant as India and Brazil. Since the late 1980s, the Argyle mine produced over 90% of the fancy pink diamonds sold on the market today, and is the sole source of the most rare and most significant pinks available today. Out of the over 30 million carats of rough mined at Argyle each year, less than 10,000 carats are pink, and less than 1,000 carats weighed more than 0.20 ct in their rough form.

Pink Color Diamonds

Pink color diamonds.

The GIA recently wrote "Of the millions of diamonds mined each year, only .001 percent can qualify as fancy colors and only a handful can achieve the top grades of Intense and Vivid." Natural fancy color diamonds are already known as one as one the most extreme rarities in the world today. Of the color diamond family, pink diamonds are the second to rarest color found; so you can imagine how unique a high quality stone of this color actually is.

Pink Diamond Color

All diamonds are assessed by the same four main attributes of diamond quality; Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat. However, unlike colorless diamonds where the 4Cs are of the same importance, the color of a fancy color diamond is the most significant characteristic of all.

The unique colors in the stones are caused by different trace minerals within the compound elements of the diamonds. Depending on the origin of the stones, meaning where it is from, certain minerals are more present - therefore increasing the presence of specific colors in certain areas.

Unlike yellow diamonds where the color is caused from large amounts of nitrogen, blue diamonds where the color is caused by boron, purple or violet diamonds where the colors are caused by increased hydrogen, or green diamonds where the color is caused by exposure to atomic radiation or radioactivity, the cause of the pink diamond color actually still remains questionable. Scientific evidence has shown that pink diamonds contain high pressure graining which results in a compressed internal structure and that is thought to be the origin of the color. Within the industry, this is referred to as 'Plastic Deformation', which occurs during the crystal growth.

As a result of the increased pressure, it is extremely difficult to find a pink colored diamond with a high clarity grade. In fact, most natural pink diamonds often contain pink internal graining lines or surface graining lines within the atomic structure of the stones. Although this is a natural defect found in most, but not all, pink diamonds it still can slightly affect the clarity of the diamond, bringing for example from an IF to a VVS1/2.

Pink Diamond Intensity

Pink colored diamonds can be found in every intensity grade in the following GIA grading scale:

Fancy Pink Diamond Intensity Scale
Faint Pink
Very Light Pink
Light Pink
Fancy Light Pink
Fancy Pink
Fancy Intense Pink
Fancy Vivid Pink
Fancy Deep Pink
Fancy Dark Pink

Fancy pink diamond intensity scale.

The intensity grades depend on the color combinations within the stone.

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Pink Diamonds Color Intensity

Intensity grades of pink diamonds - From left to right: Faint Pink, Very Light Pink, Light Pink, Fancy Light Pink, Fancy Pink, Fancy Intense Pink, Fancy Vivid Pink, and Fancy Deep Pink.

Pink Diamond Secondary Hues

Similar to other colors, a pure colored pink diamond without any secondary hue is more valuable. However, as a result of its magnificent appearance, a Purplish Pink diamond is also considered most preferred. Most pink diamonds in today's market contain any of the following overtone colors; Purple, Purplish, Brown, Brownish, Grayish, Orangy, Brownish Orangy, and Brownish Purple:

Pink Diamond Secondary Hues

1st row:

Fancy Brownish Purple Pink, Fancy Light Brownish Pink, Fancy Brownish Pink, Fancy Deep Brownish Pink, Light Brown Pink, Fancy Brown Pink, Fancy Deep Brown Pink, Fancy Brownish Orangy Pink.

2nd row:

Fancy Brownish Orangy Pink, Fancy Deep Brownish Orangy Pink, Fancy Light Orangy Pink, Fancy Orangy Pink, xxx, Fancy Intense Orangy Pink, Fancy Vivid Orangy Pink, xxxx.

3rd row:

Fancy Deep Orangy Pink, Faint Pink, Very Light Pink, Light Pink, Fancy Light Pink, Fancy Pink, Fancy Intense Pink, Fancy Vivid Pink.

4th row:

Fancy Deep Pink, Fancy Purple Pink, Fancy Intense Purple Pink, Fancy Vivid Purple Pink, Fancy Deep Purple Pink, xxx, Fancy Purplish Pink, Fancy Intense Purplish Pink.

5th row:

Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink, Fancy Deep Purplish Pink.

Pink Diamond Tone

Tone refers to the lightness or darkness of a real pink diamond, and the continuum in between. GIA grading does not make a distinction in tones, but to the eye a stone with darker tones may appear more intense in color. For someone looking for the appearance of a Fancy Intense Pink without the price tag of one, a good option may be a Fancy Pink diamond with a darker tone.

Pink Diamond Fluorescence

It is very common for pink diamonds to display fluorescence. In fact, finding a real pink diamond without this quality is quite rare, hence its presence usually does not have a negative impact on price (even in the case of strong blue fluorescence). According to GIA, over 80% all pink diamonds exhibit some degree of fluorescence. In the final analysis, the enhancement to a stone's aesthetics that fluorescence offers is entirely subjective.

Pink Diamond Clarity

Fancy pink diamonds tend to be included (I) overall, yet because of their rarity, clarity plays a much smaller part in their valuation than it does in, say, yellow diamonds. According to GIA, less than 7% of all pink diamonds attain a clarity grade of Flawless (F) or Internally Flawless (IF), whereas almost half are either Slightly Included (SI) or Included (I). As noted previously, color is a far greater determinant of a pink diamond's overall value (and rarity) than is clarity.

Pink Diamond Shape

Because round cuts tend to produce lower color saturation, pink diamonds, like other colors, are generally cut into fancy shapes such as cushions, emerald cuts, princesses, etc. Round cuts cause color desaturation because they are best at reflecting white light, which also gives them their scintillation. In the case of pink diamonds, a round cut may make the pink color appear fainter, whereas a fancy shape, which reflects less white light, will maximize color saturation. Take note of uneven color distributions as well (these will be noted on your GIA certificate), as they can certainly affect a diamond's appearance and value.

Pink Diamond Value

Pink is one of the rarest colors in the fancy color diamond universe. Unlike yellow diamonds, which comprise over 60% of all fancy color diamonds produced, natural pinks fall into the same category as blues and reds for their extreme rarity. Because of their striking color and constraints on supply (the Argyle mine, which currently produces over 90% of the world's pinks, is scheduled to shut down in 2018/2019), pink diamonds represent excellent investment opportunities.

Pink Diamond Value

Pink diamond value.

The price of pink diamonds has been steadily climbing for years. When considering a rare pink diamond as an investment, opt for stones with deeper color saturation and as large a size as fits your budget. In the case of pinks, the strongest determinants of rarity and hence value are color, size, shape and clarity, in that order. Pink diamond prices vary based on these qualities. So obviously if you happen upon a round (an extremely rare shape for a color diamond as previously discussed) Fancy Vivid Pink diamond, but it happens to be only 0.30 ct and Slightly Included, it may indeed be an exceptionally rare and valuable specimen.

Pink Diamond Jewellery

Even with the relatively high prices of pink diamonds, as a result of their exquisite colors, they are often used in various designs of color diamond jewellery. Blue diamonds are excellent combination stones to be used together with pink in color diamond jewellery.

Pink Diamond History

Pink diamonds have been sourced in very limited supply from mines around the world. In the 17th and 18th centuries, rich discoveries of pinks were made in the Golconda region in India and the Minas Gerais region in Brazil. Since the late 1980s, over 90% of the world's fancy pink diamond supply has come from Rio Tinto's Argyle mine in Northwestern Australia.

Argyle Diamonds

Pink diamonds are found in a small number of diamond mines throughout the world. However, more than any other, the Argyle diamond mine has been known as the largest source of high quality pink diamonds. In fact, the coloring of stones found from that mine is so unique that an experienced diamondaires can often identify the origin of the diamond by viewing the stone. The pink coloring of an Argyle pink diamond is so vibrant that Argyle pink diamonds, regardless of the size, are considered excellent investments.

Argyle Diamonds

Some perfect examples of Argyle Fancy Intense Purplish Pink diamonds, which all have a slight bubble gum color tone.

Famous Pink Diamonds

As one of the rarest diamond colors on earth, a number of these diamonds have made quite an impression in the largest and most well known auction houses; Christie's and Sotheby's.

Some of the most well known pink diamonds sold at auction were:

The Graff Pink: A new world record was set for a Jewel sold at auction, when an exquisite and extremely rare 24.78 ct pink diamond was sold at Sotheby's auction house in Geneva on November 16th. The Fancy Intense Pink, emerald cut stone sold for a whopping $46.16 million dollars!

The Princie Diamond: A relatively new record was set for the most expensive diamond ever sold at Christie's auction house! The 36.65 carat Fancy Intense Pink, Princie Diamond, is now the second most expensive diamond sold at auction, just behind The Graff Pink. It sold for a fantastic $39,323,750 ($1,135,000 per carat).

The Steinmetz Pink: A 59.60 carat, oval shaped diamond of a phenominal Fancy Vivid Pink color with an Internally Flawless (IF) clarity grade. The Steinmetz Pink is one of the finest pink diamonds in the world presently! It sold for $25 million dollars.

The Agra: A beautiful 28.15 carat, Fancy Light Pink stone. This cushion cut diamond has a VS2 clarity grade and a magnificent brilliance. It was bought at auction in 1990 for $4,070,000.

Pink Diamond Buying Guide

Color intensity and carat weight are the biggest influencers of a fancy color diamond's price, and this is certainly true for fancy pink diamonds. In the case of pinks, secondary modifying colors such as Orange, Brown, Purple and Red can be present. Sometimes the presence of these colors is so subtle they won't even register on the naked eye. A fancy pink diamond with no secondary color, or overtone, is extremely rare and the more intense its color, the more valuable the stone will be. With that said, certain exceptional stones such as the Mystra, a 2.02 ct Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink round, the confluence of carat weight, intensity, cut (rounds being very rare shapes for a fancy color) and Purplish overtone make this diamond one of the rarest pink diamonds in existence.

Pink diamonds are recognized as extremely luxurious items. The increase in rarity together with their popularity has significantly driven pink diamond prices up. Consequently, they are often utilized as additions to investment portfolios as excellent alternative investments. Pink diamonds are considered Type II diamonds, which are generally more desired by collectors.