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By Sam Thomas

How Much Are Pink Diamonds Per Carat? All Your Questions Answered.

20 August 2021

Very valuable pink diamonds

Pink diamonds have increased dramatically in value in recent years.

This trend was already established around the beginning of this millennium, when people rather suddenly became much more interested in pink diamonds and demand for them started to build. The Argyle mine in the Kimberley region of North Western Australia remains the world’s main original source of extant pink diamonds. However, the operation closed in 2020. The company which ran this unique mine, Rio Tinto, made the announcement that it would close – quite some time in advance – and from that point there was somewhat of a ‘rush’ on Argyle pink diamonds. Since the closure of the mine the diamonds are even more sought after. Pink diamonds have been selling for eye-watering prices at boutique international auctions in the last couple of years.

Pink diamonds are amongst the very top items for those who invest in precious stones. They are not complicated to buy and sell, and they guarantee a healthy return. They were always a rare and very beautiful diamond, but now these highly desirable and fashionable pink diamonds are harder to come by, and extremely valuable.

How are diamonds priced?

When considering the way in which diamonds are priced, there are a number of elements to appreciate. However, by far the stand out factor is a diamond’s rarity. The same goes for all diamonds and all precious gemstones for that matter, whether pink, green, blue, colourless, black or yellow. In terms of the overall value of a diamond, the more rare, the more valuable, essentially. 

Understanding what makes a diamond rare is somewhat complicated. The easy part to grasp is that they are a commodity which is difficult to find and procure. And it is an expensive process. We do compare each stone with regard to size and quality – often referred to as the Four C’s – which are carat, cut, colour and clarity. There are definitely scales and measurements for determining the quality and value of a diamond from this perspective.

Market forces of course also play their role in determining the going rate for diamonds and precious stones. Every single diamond is an individual, and in this sense each one is in fact a rare object. All diamonds have involved a lot of time and effort to unearth and cut and polish and present for sale. It is true to assert that all diamonds are rare items. But some much more so than others.

Are pink diamonds rare?

The main reason pink diamonds are so costly is because they are so rare. Amongst the cohort of diamonds, pinks are some of the most prized. Pink diamonds represent about 0.0001% of diamonds on planet Earth. Sources of pink diamonds are rare; there are only a few. As mentioned above, the Argyle mine in Western Australia was the main supplier of pink diamonds to the world market, and it now no longer exists – the site has been razed and rehabilitated and returned to its original owners. Argyle used to produce about 90% of the world’s pink diamonds. 

When the high price of pink diamonds is discussed in jewellery and investor/financial circles, the term ‘mobility’ often comes up. The mobility of pink diamonds adds to their premium prices. Whilst there are many high end, high value items around, not all are easy to sell, for various reasons. These items are described as having less mobility within the market. Pink diamonds are easy to sell, not so much in regular retail settings but usually in more sophisticated market places. This is another reason why pink diamonds are considered by many financial advisers to be one of the best investments you can make; in many cases the figures indicate that returns on pink diamonds are superior to those in property, stocks, art or gold.

What else impacts the price of a pink diamond?

We should clarify that we are discussing natural pink diamonds here.

Laboratory formed pink diamonds are totally negligible in value in comparison with natural ones. 

As with most other diamonds, the famous Four C’s apply as quality parameters. In terms of carat weight, with pink diamonds, the better investment is the larger stone. This might sound obvious, but is not always the case with all precious gemstones. With pink diamonds, smaller ones are easier to sell, but you won’t enjoy those astronomical returns which larger specimens bring. The smaller diamonds which have not been snapped up by investors are generally the ones you will see in a retail jewellery shop.

They are equal in quality and they are also excellent from an investment point of view. The large, loose pink diamonds which get traded in upmarket auction rooms and kept in bank vaults are often just too big and expensive to be practical to use in jewellery. With regard to clarity, flawless pink diamonds do exist, though these are extremely rare. You will mostly find pink diamonds with VS1 and VS2 gradings. Colour is important with pink diamonds; the better diamonds are generally considered to be those with more intense colour, though some people do prefer the more subtle tones.

The gradings go like so: faint pink, very light pink, light pink, fancy light pink, fancy pink, intense pink, vivid pink.

Most of the super expensive pink diamonds are in the last three categories. Argyle diamonds also have their own system, ranging from 1 to 9, and using these descriptions: purplish pink, pink, pink rose and pink champagne.

The value of the cut

The cut of a pink diamond is very important of course. The best cuts can bring out the best colour intensity. It is usually preferable to cut pink diamonds in a fashion which retains the most carat weight possible. 

So, per carat, pink diamonds are valued according to the combination of the above mentioned criteria. We mostly look at fancy light pink, intense pink and vivid pink diamond prices per carat, with the lower total carat weight stones costing less per carat then the larger ones. The price keeps going up all the time, as does the return percentage, from an investment perspective.

Recent auctions have broken records. Some of the vendors saw incredible returns of more than 50% per annum. The typical return is around 20%. In 2022 the average price per carat for top quality pink diamonds ranges from 5 figures per carat for a small light pink to well into the 7-figure mark per carat for a large vivid pink. We can take you through the pricings of pink diamonds and show you some mind-blowing pink diamonds in-store.

It’s best to make an appointment.

We are proud to be an elite ‘Select Atelier’ of Argyle Pink Diamonds. We are invited to participate in the famous annual ‘Pink Diamond Tender’ and we are passionate about pink diamonds, which are ‘beyond rare’.