Australia’s largest, natural pink diamond, The Argyle Pink Jubilee, was discovered recently, at Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine in Western Australia, where it is said that 90% of the world’s natural pink diamonds are found. But it was not just this diamond’s gorgeous pale pink colour and exceptional size that caught my eye – the extremely rare 12.76 carat stone is estimated to be worth at least £7 million!
Though natural fancy diamonds are exceptionally rare, they can be establish in almost every colour; ranging from vivid blues and greens, to bright yellows and pinks, they have even been found in black. It is said that only 1-2 carats out of 3000 carats mined are natural fancy diamonds, which explains the very high price tag for these unusual stones. However, there is another way to incorporate sparkling, fancy coloured diamonds into everyday pieces jewellery, without having to spend a small fortune…
Scientists in the diamond industry have discovered a variety of techniques which may change a low graded yellowy –brown, cut and polished diamond into a colourless or fancy coloured diamond which are so desirable in the jewellery world. Initial methods, such as radium treatments, modified the colour of diamonds but left diamonds highly radioactive, to the point where the diamonds would be a danger to wear; however technologies have moved on a great deal since then. There are now much safer ways to change a dull diamond to a dazzling colourful stone.
There are many ways in which the diamond industry is treating low graded diamonds; there are safe forms of irradiation, diamond coatings, as well as high-pressure high-temperature treatments. But the technique that our diamond dealers use, combines electronic beaming and heat treatment to alter a diamonds colour, and is seen as a mechanical simulation of how a diamond is created in nature. The electronic beaming changes the atomic structure of the diamond, whilst the heat treatment fixes the colour, and this way of treating diamonds is 100% safe and non-radioactive!
Different diamonds, timings and temperatures can affect the colour that the diamond turns into. Dull brown diamonds can turn a stunning sky blue or cognac colour, whilst murky yellow diamonds can turn into a vibrant yellow or green. There is also a 1% possibility that these yellowy diamonds will turn pink, theoretically making the production of heat treated pink diamonds a fault! Due to this, the supply of heat treated pink diamonds is very hard to control.
We have designed several dazzling pink engagement rings, which have included some beautiful, treated fancy diamonds, and this one is one of my particular favourites:
This delicate platinum ring, holds a 0.27ct, pear cut, treated pink diamond, and is a striking example of how an initially unappealing stone may be turned into something amazing!