Production at Rio Tinto’s (ASX:RIO) Argyle mine in Western Australia’s Kimberley region will soon come to an end as its rare deposits of pink diamonds approach exhaustion.
Sky News reports that the mine, which accounts for over 90% of the global supply of pink diamonds, will be largely depleted within the next decade.
According to British jewellery historian Vivienne Becker the close of the Argyle mine’s production will mark the end of an era for precious gemstones.
Becker says the pink diamonds are a “delightful freak of nature” whose peculiar hue and scarcity draw a hefty premium from high-end consumers, and that in future they will “emerge as the new Faberge egg, the thing jewellery myths are made of.”
“The value of rarity is the most priceless factor…in the world of jewellery today and as supply tightens, price will be driven up,” said Ms. Becker.
Owners and enthusiasts of rare gems include Princess Mary of Denmark, who hails from Australia and whose Shamballa bracelet has a single pave ball fashioned completely from pink diamonds, as well as the Queen of England, who received the Williamson pink diamond from Tanzania as a gift for her wedding in 1947.