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Quest for the absolute

Quest for the absolute
“GEMSTONES ARE THE FLOWERS OF THE MINERAL WORLD,
AND THE FANCY COLOURED DIAMOND IS THE ORCHID.”
Rene Just Hauy,
the father of modern gemology, in 1817.
Discover the fascinating history of the Argyle Pink Diamond
Use your mouse to scroll or click on the timeline below

Argyle journey animation

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craftsmanship
craftsmanship

Modern-day alchemists are the final guardians of an Argyle pink diamond before it is unveiled to the world. In the care of a diamond cutter, the art of nature becomes a masterpiece.

Intuition meets with more than 100 combined years of precision in the master craftsmen at Argyle Pink Diamonds' state-of-the-art Perth atelier. It is within these hands that the inherent magnificence of a rough pink diamond is elevated to its pinnacle. Cutting and polishing are their own art forms.

The stakes are high in this stage of the chain of custody, as the slightest misjudgement means the irrevocable loss of precious colour, and cutting pink diamonds presents unparalleled challenges.

When handling pink diamonds, the cutter is consumed by the pursuit of colour, and it's a chase that is exacting. Their complicated structure makes them harder to cut and polishing can take three to four times longer than white diamonds. But there is no replacement for the highly trained eye.

A steady nerve is a requisite, in what is ultimately a human process, but the rewards of steering the destiny of this inimitable diamond are difficult to match.

Creativity, along with a firm grasp of the physics of light and how to encourage its course to unleash the brightness and fire of a stone, are essential at the atelier bench.

Each Argyle pink diamond has its unique and enthralling story to tell and cannot be rushed.

Bringing diamonds to life
Bringing diamonds to life

It takes over a year and many individuals to steer the world's rarest diamond from the mine to its final destination in the Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender.

The odyssey of a rough Argyle pink diamond starts in in the East Kimberley, 3040 kilometres from the Western Australian capital, Perth.

The rough arrives at the Perth facility from the mine via a journey to Rio Tinto Diamonds' sales and marketing hub in Antwerp for valuing.
 
Next it is into the hands of a master diamond polisher, who sits silent and still, his senses on high alert, to observe and feel the story of the stone on the polishing wheel.

The polisher brillianteers each intricate facet, bringing out the most intense hues. Intuitive skills, along with a little help from technology shape the magnificent adamantine gems.

"TO SEE A WORLD IN A GRAIN OF SAND AND A HEAVEN IN A WILD FLOWER HOLD INFINITY IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND AND ETERNITY IN AN HOUR." - WILLIAM BLAKE

Argyle's polishers require an understanding of the physics of light and its path through the diamond. Unleashing its brightness, fire and scintillation is no insignificant task and it is performed with cognisance of potentially millions of dollars being on the line.

It is not uncommon to see the Argyle team celebrate when a diamond has reached its zenith as a piece of history. Its
transformation complete, the diamond is colour-graded before being forwarded to the Gemological Institute of America, for certification in advance of the tender.

The kimberley
The kimberley

Nowhere else in the world will you find such a rare trove of pink diamonds, with an intensity of colour that is unmatched by any other pink diamond, than in the East Kimberley. And nowhere else will you encounter as awe-inspiring a terrain.

This very special birthplace mesmerises visitors with the pristine nature of its vast ochre landscape of rocky gorges, cascading waterfalls, deserts and abundant native flora. It is here, in this hauntingly remote vista, where Mother Nature harbours the ultimate treasures - diamonds, with glimpses of the past, present and future, that from the outset have captured the hearts and minds of all who come into contact with them.

The spectacular dawns and sunsets speak of the dawn of time. Evidence of man's earliest artistic expression is also preserved here.

Covering billions of years of history and over one million square kilometres, the landscape bears witness to one of the richest prehistoric art galleries on Earth and allows visitors to gain a connection to one of the oldest surviving cultures in existence. There are indigenous rock paintings that date back some 60,000 years – that is five times older than the Egyptian pyramids. The rock art in the East Kimberley is found in one of the greatest concentrations in the world, and appears in a variety of figurative styles, celebrating the spirituality of its people and the natural beauty of the land.

Sustainability
Sustainability

An Argyle pink diamond's journey from the mine is under the guiding care of the standards of the Responsible Jewellery Council that Rio Tinto, the owner of the Argyle Diamond Mine, upholds as a founding member. This adherence across the entire supply chain ensures each certified diamond is as sustainable and ethically sound as it is beautiful and rare.

The Traditional Owners of the mine's lease area feel a strong link to their land and believe they have certain obligations to it. Argyle, in respect of these, is committed to positive outcomes for both the environment and local people. This responsibility is their legacy to the land. The Argyle Diamond Mine funds community development projects encompassing health, education, training, business and employment opportunities. Today, one in four of its employees are indigenous.

An engagement of the custodians of the land in the destiny of the Argyle pink diamond by Rio Tinto was unique in mining history; the company would not commence with the underground mine without the approval of the Traditional Owners and appropriate agreements.

Environmental best practices, efficient uses of resources, and careful guard of priority species are integral to the preservation of the area's diverse wildlife, flora and fauna.

Rio Tinto is focused on ways to minimise the amount of water it removes from the environment, reusing it whenever it can, and returning it to the environment to meet regulatory limits, in line with recommendations of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance that protects Lake Argyle.

Rio Tinto requests that every company in the production chain, from mine to market, employs fair trade practices of the same international standards required by the Responsible Jewellery Council.

The never ending quest
The never ending quest

As the rarity of Argyle pink diamonds escalates, the Argyle team is emotionally and technologically invested in continuing to bring these natural wonders to light.

With the Argyle Diamond Mine's limited life, it is estimated that there are less than 500 tender quality Argyle pink diamonds left to be discovered.

Prior to the 1980s, production of pink diamonds had been sporadic, and limited to India, Brazil, Africa and Indonesia. Argyle pink diamonds, from a certifiable source and of a depth and range of colour never seen before, have commanded the world's attention since their discovery in 1979.

One mining approach being employed to extend the life of the historic mine until at least 2020 is a block cave mining technique, where the ore body is undercut allowing it to break up and 'cave' under its own weight.

The decision to change from conventional alluvial and open pit mining after 2013, by constructing a block cave mine, followed extensive studies into the safest and most economical way to reach deep into Argyle's ore body. Around 40 kilometres of tunnels are being built to the highest safety standards to complete the technologically advanced underground operation, which is worked 24 hours a day every day of the year, and is the first of its type in Western Australia and one of only a few in Australia. The block cave is expected to generate up to 20 million carats per year, but the mine's owners are ever conscious that the Argyle Diamond Mine's story is not infinite.

Label: 
craftsmanship
Image: 
Background color: 
2b292a
Slide title: 
craftsmanship
Text content left: 

Modern-day alchemists are the final guardians of an Argyle pink diamond before it is unveiled to the world. In the care of a diamond cutter, the art of nature becomes a masterpiece.

Intuition meets with more than 100 combined years of precision in the master craftsmen at Argyle Pink Diamonds' state-of-the-art Perth atelier. It is within these hands that the inherent magnificence of a rough pink diamond is elevated to its pinnacle. Cutting and polishing are their own art forms.

The stakes are high in this stage of the chain of custody, as the slightest misjudgement means the irrevocable loss of precious colour, and cutting pink diamonds presents unparalleled challenges.

Text content right: 

When handling pink diamonds, the cutter is consumed by the pursuit of colour, and it's a chase that is exacting. Their complicated structure makes them harder to cut and polishing can take three to four times longer than white diamonds. But there is no replacement for the highly trained eye.

A steady nerve is a requisite, in what is ultimately a human process, but the rewards of steering the destiny of this inimitable diamond are difficult to match.

Creativity, along with a firm grasp of the physics of light and how to encourage its course to unleash the brightness and fire of a stone, are essential at the atelier bench.

Each Argyle pink diamond has its unique and enthralling story to tell and cannot be rushed.

Label: 
bringing <br/> diamonds to life
Image: 
Background color: 
ffffff
Slide title: 
Bringing diamonds to life
Text content left: 

It takes over a year and many individuals to steer the world's rarest diamond from the mine to its final destination in the Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender.

The odyssey of a rough Argyle pink diamond starts in in the East Kimberley, 3040 kilometres from the Western Australian capital, Perth.

The rough arrives at the Perth facility from the mine via a journey to Rio Tinto Diamonds' sales and marketing hub in Antwerp for valuing.
 
Next it is into the hands of a master diamond polisher, who sits silent and still, his senses on high alert, to observe and feel the story of the stone on the polishing wheel.

The polisher brillianteers each intricate facet, bringing out the most intense hues. Intuitive skills, along with a little help from technology shape the magnificent adamantine gems.

Text content right: 

"TO SEE A WORLD IN A GRAIN OF SAND AND A HEAVEN IN A WILD FLOWER HOLD INFINITY IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND AND ETERNITY IN AN HOUR." - WILLIAM BLAKE

Argyle's polishers require an understanding of the physics of light and its path through the diamond. Unleashing its brightness, fire and scintillation is no insignificant task and it is performed with cognisance of potentially millions of dollars being on the line.

It is not uncommon to see the Argyle team celebrate when a diamond has reached its zenith as a piece of history. Its
transformation complete, the diamond is colour-graded before being forwarded to the Gemological Institute of America, for certification in advance of the tender.

Label: 
the kimberley
Image: 
Background color: 
211311
Slide title: 
The kimberley
Text content left: 

Nowhere else in the world will you find such a rare trove of pink diamonds, with an intensity of colour that is unmatched by any other pink diamond, than in the East Kimberley. And nowhere else will you encounter as awe-inspiring a terrain.

This very special birthplace mesmerises visitors with the pristine nature of its vast ochre landscape of rocky gorges, cascading waterfalls, deserts and abundant native flora. It is here, in this hauntingly remote vista, where Mother Nature harbours the ultimate treasures - diamonds, with glimpses of the past, present and future, that from the outset have captured the hearts and minds of all who come into contact with them.

The spectacular dawns and sunsets speak of the dawn of time. Evidence of man's earliest artistic expression is also preserved here.

Text content right: 

Covering billions of years of history and over one million square kilometres, the landscape bears witness to one of the richest prehistoric art galleries on Earth and allows visitors to gain a connection to one of the oldest surviving cultures in existence. There are indigenous rock paintings that date back some 60,000 years – that is five times older than the Egyptian pyramids. The rock art in the East Kimberley is found in one of the greatest concentrations in the world, and appears in a variety of figurative styles, celebrating the spirituality of its people and the natural beauty of the land.

Label: 
sustainability
Image: 
Background color: 
000000
Slide title: 
Sustainability
Text content left: 

An Argyle pink diamond's journey from the mine is under the guiding care of the standards of the Responsible Jewellery Council that Rio Tinto, the owner of the Argyle Diamond Mine, upholds as a founding member. This adherence across the entire supply chain ensures each certified diamond is as sustainable and ethically sound as it is beautiful and rare.

The Traditional Owners of the mine's lease area feel a strong link to their land and believe they have certain obligations to it. Argyle, in respect of these, is committed to positive outcomes for both the environment and local people. This responsibility is their legacy to the land. The Argyle Diamond Mine funds community development projects encompassing health, education, training, business and employment opportunities. Today, one in four of its employees are indigenous.

Text content right: 

An engagement of the custodians of the land in the destiny of the Argyle pink diamond by Rio Tinto was unique in mining history; the company would not commence with the underground mine without the approval of the Traditional Owners and appropriate agreements.

Environmental best practices, efficient uses of resources, and careful guard of priority species are integral to the preservation of the area's diverse wildlife, flora and fauna.

Rio Tinto is focused on ways to minimise the amount of water it removes from the environment, reusing it whenever it can, and returning it to the environment to meet regulatory limits, in line with recommendations of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance that protects Lake Argyle.

Rio Tinto requests that every company in the production chain, from mine to market, employs fair trade practices of the same international standards required by the Responsible Jewellery Council.

Label: 
the never <br/> ending quest
Image: 
Background color: 
ffffff
Slide title: 
The never ending quest
Text content left: 

As the rarity of Argyle pink diamonds escalates, the Argyle team is emotionally and technologically invested in continuing to bring these natural wonders to light.

With the Argyle Diamond Mine's limited life, it is estimated that there are less than 500 tender quality Argyle pink diamonds left to be discovered.

Prior to the 1980s, production of pink diamonds had been sporadic, and limited to India, Brazil, Africa and Indonesia. Argyle pink diamonds, from a certifiable source and of a depth and range of colour never seen before, have commanded the world's attention since their discovery in 1979.

One mining approach being employed to extend the life of the historic mine until at least 2020 is a block cave mining technique, where the ore body is undercut allowing it to break up and 'cave' under its own weight.

Text content right: 

The decision to change from conventional alluvial and open pit mining after 2013, by constructing a block cave mine, followed extensive studies into the safest and most economical way to reach deep into Argyle's ore body. Around 40 kilometres of tunnels are being built to the highest safety standards to complete the technologically advanced underground operation, which is worked 24 hours a day every day of the year, and is the first of its type in Western Australia and one of only a few in Australia. The block cave is expected to generate up to 20 million carats per year, but the mine's owners are ever conscious that the Argyle Diamond Mine's story is not infinite.