Why We Don’t Sell Argyle Diamonds

A common question that we get asked is “Do you sell Argyle diamonds?”.

Because we’re in Perth (the capital city of Western Australia) and Argyle’s head office is in Perth as well, with the mine located in the Kimberley, people assume and even think it’s logical that we should sell diamonds from the Argyle diamond mine.

However, what a lot of people don’t know is that 95% of diamonds that come from the Argyle mine aren’t gem quality, meaning that colourless to near colourless white diamonds from Argyle are very rare.

Argyle Diamond Characteristics

Characteristics of Argyle diamonds. Source: GIA Gems & Gemology

Of those white diamonds that are of gem quality, they usually have the following characteristics:

  • Blue or green fluorescence.
  • Graphite inclusions – inclusions that are black and easier to see with the naked eye.
  • Twinning wisp inclusions, as shown below.

Diamond with Twinning Wisps

 A diamond with heavy twinning wisp inclusions.

This means that someone wanting a diamond with a colour F and a clarity VS2 (a fairly common colour/clarity combination that we sell) with no fluorescence from the Argyle mine may be out of luck.

That said, there does exist demand for jewellery with a distinct Australian theme. One way to make an “Australian themed” engagement ring would be to use pink diamonds from the Argyle mine as shoulder diamonds, along with gold sourced from one of the many gold mines in Western Australia.

Pink Diamond Ring

A pink diamond ring with Argyle pink diamonds.

That said, it is important to remember that whilst the raw material comes from the Argyle mine, Australia has no diamond cutting facilities Rio Tinto only has limited cutting facilities in Perth. Therefore, most of Argyle’s production (at least non-pink and red) goes to India to be cut and polished.

To read more about the Argyle diamond mine, Argyle has a copy of a 2001 article in Gems & Gemology

53 Responses to “Why We Don’t Sell Argyle Diamonds”

  1. Matt Says:

    So you guys cannot make a ring with argyle pink/white shoulders at all?

  2. Nikhil Says:

    Yes, we make ring with pink shoulders, but not white Argyle diamonds.

  3. lou Says:

    So there is no way of buying a diamond thats from argyle in perth instead of buying a diamond from a jeweller?

  4. Nikhil Says:

    Hi Lou
    Try searching for “Origin Australia” diamonds.

  5. Geptor Says:

    Surely you could dye the diamonds a nice attractive colour and sell them for a better price then?

  6. Nikhil Says:

    Actually you can’t dye diamonds, but you can coat them – obviously not that well: http://www.jewelleryworld.net.au/2009/02/23/article/WMBPWKTCRM.html

  7. WestOz Says:

    Why is there no Australian facility for diamond cutting? (Actually thought there was one at Argyle itself, remembering a documentary on TV several years ago). Can’t a nice ring be made using a decent size pink solitaire? That would probably be well sought after, unique and a good seller.

  8. Nikhil Says:

    Hi Westoz
    There used to be cutting facilities in West Perth, but that closed down a few years ago. Now all rough is polished overseas. The polishing facilities are now located in Perth.
    Pinks of a decent colour are astromically expensive, therefore, mainstream jewellery buyers tend to opt for smaller pinks on the shoulders or halo with a white diamond in the centre.

  9. JUSTWONDERING Says:

    JUST WONDERING OUT OF THE 95% THAT ARE OF SHALL WE SAY POOR QUALITY, WHAT DO YOU ACTUALLY DO WITH THEM AS IN WHO BUYS THEM AND FOR WHAT PURPOSE??

  10. Nikhil Says:

    They are mostly used lower quality jewellery that one might see in chain stores or for industrial purposes.

  11. B.Watson Says:

    This is unbelievable! To learn that Argyle has NO DIAMOND CUTTER!
    Once again we Australians loose to overseas production of our own precious products!
    Editor’s Note: Rio Tinto have confirmed they have a cutting and polishing facility in Perth

  12. B.Watson Says:

    This is the first time I have commented on this matter!

  13. B.Watson Says:

    Why does my comment need moderation?

  14. Nikhil Says:

    We require moderation due to the amount of spam comments we receive.

  15. Lola Says:

    Very interesting! I’d always suspected Argyle diamonds were a bit of a con job, making ‘pink’ in a diamond somehow sound valuable through slick marketing.

  16. Nikhil Says:

    Hi Lola
    Pink diamonds are extremely valuable because of their rarity, and they will likely become more valuable due to less production from the Argyle mine.

  17. Changer Says:

    Sounds more like an attempt to discredit Argyle diamonds and create distrust of their brand name – as a sales tactic it turns me off.
    Where do you source your diamonds from?
    I would suggest that there aren’t enough Argyle diamonds making it onto the open market to satisfy demand, and this is your way of dealing with it.
    *I live in Qld, and have nothing to do with Argyle mine or its products.

  18. Nikhil Says:

    Hi Changer
    Thanks for your comment. I disagree that I was trying to discredit Argyle. I was simply listing the characteristics, and why people who want white Argyle diamonds may not get the exact characteristics they want, which is because, as you said there probably isn’t enough supply to satisfy demand.
    We source most of our diamonds from DTC sighholders, but also have access to Canadamark diamonds as well.

  19. Knarf Says:

    Hi, well my expartner had best be very happy, her engagement ring was an Argyle champane diamond with Coolgardie green gold (I think it has copper in it and gives it a slight green hue), Kalgoorlie red gold ( iron oxide gives it a slight pink tone. 16yrs ago it cost me $4000, I wonder what that gem would be worth now???… LOL
    Anyway you can buy Argyles at select jewlers (ask for certificate from Argyle) in Perth, you just have to search for the right jewler… good hunting. Personaly I feel Australian gems are worth every penny you spend, great products and use of our precious metals to frame them keeps profits closer to home.

  20. Phil Says:

    Argyle pink diamond were for sale at The Perth Mint when we went on a tour there about 3 years ago

  21. stealy Says:

    can you mine your own diamonds in australia? And if so, do you need a licence? I mean just as a hobby.

  22. PJ Says:

    Are green diamonds real or man made?
    What colour is the most rare?

  23. Nikhil Says:

    Green diamonds can be real or treated/synthetic. Red is the rarest colour in diamonds.

  24. Neil Davie Says:

    What a load of Crap! The reason you don’t sell diamonds is that DeBeers and the CDE have their feet on your neck and won’t let you. Russia has literally “Tons” of gem quality diamonds in their vaults as do the UK and US, the trickle allowed through the funnel keeps the prices artificially high.

  25. Pinkdiamondowner Says:

    As the proud owner of pink , champagne and white Argyles, and proud resident of the Kimberley, I find this article amusing to read. Perhaps it is just that the cost of the pinks at tender are too high for you, and so you choose to go for the cheap and nasty almost unseeable “shoulder” light pinks and lower quality whites., that way people can say ” ooh look I have a pink”..in reality you get what you pay for, Argyles have increased in value tenfold , but only if they are p4 or brighter and VSI. If you are a true Aussie Show some pride in the awesome gems Aussies have and stop using the same old tired “tall poppy” marketing tricks

  26. Nikhil Says:

    Hi Pinkdiamondowner
    Thanks for your comment. However, the article is about whites from Argyle – not pinks.

  27. Universal Investment Holdings Says:

    Your conversation is outstanding…it’s really necessary to me and for anyone.

  28. Pinkdiamondowner Says:

    Yes Nikhil, it is indeed , but the same rule is applicable – good vs bad, cheap and nasty vs no inclusions and brilliant…still Aussie mined and still well and truly worth it. and my point still remains, your article is unfair and a marketing ploy

  29. brett archet Says:

    Rio Tinto Argyle Diond deposit is kimberlite, I can wait for the diamonds from Lamprolite deposits in the East of Australia, all colours,they are deep though.Lamprolite deposits are rich.

  30. brett archet Says:

    Kimberlite versus Lamprolite Deposits The Valley of The Diamonds.Tasman Geo Syncline.All colours. 1 mile deep.Zircons,coat the edges of the syncline, diamonds, at the bottom of the roof cap pendant.

  31. brett archet Says:

    Radiation, and surrounding Iron oxide responsible for the unique color of argyle diamonds.Compared to the unique colours of a syn line intersecting the tropic.

  32. Alfred A Arnold Be MBA M/Director jp Says:

    Possibly it all might have to do with buying cheaper diamonds including possibly a few blood diamonds out of Africa, profit before quality and you tell us you cant get quality out of Australian.
    CRAP.

  33. Tim Says:

    Ellendale, just east of Derby, mine extremely good quality Yellows and Whites. However Laureton, the purchasing arm of Tiffanys New York, has first dibs!
    They are restarting a plant that was mothballed during the GFC, because of the escalating demand for their Fancy Yellows.p

  34. Charles Says:

    I’m not sure how I stumbled across this blog but I would like to ask a question about Argyle Diamonds. I have one that was handed down to me after a death in the family. I think it was purchased directly from the Company some time ago. On the plastic box it says “Argyle Diamond – 2.60ct – Colour C3 – S11 Clarity”. It seems to be a brownish colour. Is this a good diamond and do you think it is worth much? Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks, Charles.

  35. Nikhil Says:

    Hi Charles
    You might want to speak to a valuer or champagne diamond dealer to obtain an accurate sale price.

  36. ian downing Says:

    Diamonds are the biggest rip off known to man or should I say women. 100 Years ago people did not buy diamonds for engagements. This was due to a slick advertising campaign back in the 30’s after the depression.
    Millions of diamonds sit in storage in Antwerp in Belgium so De Beers can control the price. Don’t buy a diamond it is worth about 20% of what you paid.

  37. Nikhil Says:

    Hi Ian
    Whilst it may have been true that De Beers controlled diamond prices 30 years ago, it certainly isn’t the case now.

  38. kylie Says:

    as the ex owner of an overseas gold mine……the price paid for gold and gemstones is just crazy….the crap and slosh that these gems/minerals come out of…you wouldn’t put your little toe in, yet you pays thousands of dollars for them and display them as some status symbols….and that is what’s wrong with the world today

  39. Sue Says:

    So why would you not sell gem quality rare diamonds from your own industry? Baffled of Adelaide. Does it mean you cannot get up enough money to buy them? What diamonds do you sell then? Why do you bother to say you cannot compete in the local market? I find that strange

  40. Nikhil Says:

    Hi Kylie
    Many gems and minerals are valued due to their rarity. Sure, the market can over inflate their value at times, but they will always have a certain intrinsic value.

  41. Nikhil Says:

    Hi Sue
    We do sell Argyle pinks, however, most of the white diamonds we sell are mined in Southern Africa, Canada and Russia.

  42. Linda Says:

    My eternity ring sports two cognac (brown I guess) & two white Argyle diamonds purchased in kununurra WA. The jeweler had some spectacular pinks in stock but I couldn’t afford them but if I had the money I would definitely buy at least one. Everyone has a white diamond but the pinks are truly something to behold. They should be promoted & yes we should cut more gems here in Australia.

  43. Mike Says:

    Interesting I also always thought one can find Argyle Diamonds Anywhere in Australia. I myself am a Diamond Wholesaler and have several Argyle Diamonds to offer. Click to read more about it https://denirdiamonds.com/content/62-argyle-diamonds

  44. Diane Says:

    My Australian mum in law just gave me two rings…one has a small diamond solitaire. The second ring has a larger diamond and it definitely has a pink color. Do you feel this could be an Argyle pink? Should I have a jeweler check it out?

  45. Lucie Kotovski Says:

    Brett Archet: The Argyle diamond deposit is Lamproite, NOT Kimberlite. There are Kimberlites in Australia, but, I only know of one that actually produced diamonds which was found in WA and was 90percent gem quality and colourless. Unfortunately, it had quality stones in small quantities. I was in Diamond Exploration for nearly 40 years and worked for the people who discovered Argyle.

  46. David Says:

    Your article is akin to saying that the quality of the salad at Hungry Jacks is not restaurant quality. Who goes to Hungry Jacks to order salad? Argyle is renowned for it pink diamonds and, to a lesser extent, for its champagne diamonds,not its white diamonds. Thus your comparison to better quality white diamonds and the logic behind “why we don’t sell Argyle Diamonds” is flawed. You even contradict your own headline by stating later that you actually do but use them in the shoulder??? Your headline is misleading and shoudl specify that you don’t sell WHITE diamonds from Argyle.

  47. simon baderle Says:

    Hi,i want to purchase a pink diamond very small as a ear stud.
    What is the average cost of the diamond?
    Thank you simon

  48. simon baderle Says:

    It seems your just jelous?Pink diamonds are worth 20 times a normal high quality diamond and when you see them you know why!!!
    PS answer your fn comments!!

  49. Nikhil Says:

    Hi Simon
    I’m definitely not jealous – nice pinks are absolutely beautiful and are usually worth well over 20x their top-white counterparts.

  50. Amber Says:

    Thanks for the info in this article. I don’t quite understand why so many people have taken offence over it, as it didn’t read to me like slanderous against Argyle diamonds. I was curious about the white diamonds from Argyle and this answered my questions nicely. Thank you.

  51. Chris Says:

    My god there are some rude uneducated people out there. The article Nikhil wrote is common knowledge to most and makes perfect sense. I’ve read through all the comments and just shake my head at most. Nikhil…….thankyou for the article.

  52. Brett Smithson Says:

    Im a prospector from NSW. I have the yellow and clear diamonds with the carbon inclusions. Blue and Green fluorescent as well as many blue stones. Im not asking for charity But it’s Christmas and im just about broke because no one will help me with this amazing find. Please help me if you can.even advice

  53. Louise Says:

    Whoa. Did you people READ the article? The author is talking about HIGH QUALITY COLOURLESS Argyle diamonds. The Argyle mine DOES NOT PRODUCE HIGH QUALITY COLOURLESS diamonds. That’s why they source COLOURLESS (honestly why people are calling them “white” I have no idea – talking to you gem professionals too) diamonds from other countries. The layman duamind purchaser has done minimal research and wants a colourless diamond above a G, above VVS2 and over a carat. They wouldn’t know a good cut even if it was 5 carats in size and they don’t want to pay through the nose when crooks like Shiels and Zamels are still ripping people blind for diamonds I wouldn’t bother cutting my pacers with! And that’s why this jeweller does not offer Argyle COLOURLESS diamonds. There.

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