The Argyle mine, located in remote Western Australia, has produced more than 800 million carats of rough diamonds in its over 30-year history. Out of that 800 million, only 1 percent of those diamonds have been pink. The extreme rarity of the Argyle mine’s pink diamonds have sparked a cult following among diamond collectors, and Jordan Fine is one of the select few who can get his hands on them. As founder of JFINE, Inc., a boutique diamond company specializing in the rarest colored diamonds in the world, Fine works directly with the Argyle mine to bring these exotic diamonds to clients.
The discovery of this region as a diamond hotspot occurred in 1980, when a gemologist hiking through the area noticed a tiny glint atop a massive anthill. Fine recounts the coincidental tale, “[The gemologist] realized these ants were bringing diamonds up from almost the center of the earth. Since then, [Argyle] has been the largest producing diamond mine in the world.”
In the years following its founding, Argyle has prided itself on ethically sourcing their diamonds. The land is home to the Gija and Mirriwung people, who have occupied the area for about 40,000 years. Fine recalls his own visit to the mine, saying, “It’s a massive area with just a handful of towns.” Argyle operates under the permission of the traditional landowners and has a deep and respectful relationship with them and the surrounding communities. “They have good relationships with them,” says Fine. “They’re very involved.” Fine recalls them performing a blessing over the group before they entered the darkness of the expansive mine. “Just to see the sheer size of it made me appreciate the diamonds a lot more and what they go through to get them out of the ground,” says Fine.
Of all the colored diamonds he works with, Fine seems to have a soft spot for pink. “When you start to look at some of the jewelry, pink diamonds are so rare and so valuable, you really have to put them in a unique piece that highlights the color, so that’s really something we’ve focused heavily on,” says Fine. While gemologists know what causes other hues of diamonds, like blue or yellow, the recipe for pink remains a mystery. With the Argyle mine predicted to close in 2021, no doubt significantly impacting prices, now might just be the time to buy one of the peculiar—and beautiful—pieces for yourself.