Wednesday, February 22, 2012

rare 12.76 carat pink diamond found in Australia.


Colour is only an impurity – rare 12.76 carat pink diamond found in Australia.  ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ released in 1971 was a James Bond Movie starring Sean Connery as  the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film is based on Ian Fleming's 1956 novel of the same name. The story has Bond impersonating a diamond smuggler to infiltrate a smuggling ring, and soon uncovering a plot by his old nemesis Blofeld to use the diamonds and build a giant laser.

Allotropy or allotropism is the property of some chemical elements to exist in two or more different forms, the best example is that of ‘Diamond.  The allotropes of carbon include diamond, graphite, grapheme and fullerenes.   In mineralogy, diamond is an allotrope of carbon, where the carbon atoms are arranged in a variation of the face-centered cubic crystal structure called a diamond lattice. Diamond is less stable than graphite, but the conversion rate from diamond to graphite is negligible at ambient conditions. Diamond has the highest hardness and thermal conductivity of any bulk material. Diamond has remarkable optical characteristics too. Not sure whether these properties or simply it being adored as a jewel makes it the most popular gemstone.

A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond is perfectly transparent with no hue, or color. However, in reality almost no gem-sized natural diamonds are absolutely perfect. The color of a diamond may be affected by chemical impurities and/or structural defects in the crystal lattice. Depending on the hue and intensity of a diamond's coloration, a diamond's color can either detract from or enhance its value. For example, most white diamonds are discounted in price when more yellow hue is detectable, while intense pink or blue diamonds can be dramatically more valuable.  It is claimed that pink diamond is beyond rare and most reverred and treasured like no other. 

Sellers attribute that – to  own an Argyle pink diamond is to be the custodian of an unsurpassed heirloom; to gaze upon it is to  view  unfathomable beauty; to give one is to impart a gift that is truly beyond rare.  They claim that Argyle pink diamonds are rare; in fact they are beyond rare. It is thought that pink diamonds obtain their colour as a result of pressure beneath the Earth’s surface. As pressure raises the diamond closer to the surface, it is believed that its structure becomes altered, thus absorbing light and producing colour.

Although the Argyle mine supplies approximately ninety percent of the world’s pink diamonds, astonishingly, a whole year’s worth of production of stones over half a carat would fit in the palm of your hand. The larger rare violet diamonds would barely fill a teaspoon.  They are highly sought after by investors, jewellers and their customers, celebrities, and diamond aficionados. They are prized by all who possess them and revered for their unique provenance, intrinsic beauty and extreme rarity.  In Nov. 2010, a 24.78 carat "fancy intense pink" diamond was sold to a well-known British dealer at an auction in Geneva for a record-breaking $46 million (£29m), the highest price ever paid for a jewel.  It was auctioned at  Sotheby's auction.

Today, [22nd Feb 2012], there are reports of  Tinto's Argyle mine in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia, claiming to have unearthed a 12.76 carat pink diamond - the largest ever found in the country.  It is to be  known as The Argyle Pink Jubilee.  Reportedly, it is  similar in colour to The Williamson Pink, which is the diamond that Her Majesty The Queen received as a wedding gift and was subsequently set into a brooch for her Coronation.
photo courtesy : www.yahoo.com

Large pink diamonds tend to go to museums, are gifted to royalty or end up at auction houses like Christie's auctions. Christie's has only auctioned 18 polished pink diamonds over 10 carats in its 244 year history.  The report states that Expert diamond polisher Richard How Kim Kam has now started work in Perth on preparing the stone. After assessing it for two months, it will take about 10 days to cut and polish the diamond as a single stone.   After the cut, it will be polished to be graded by a team of experts and showcased to the world before being sold later this year.  It reportedly is generating great excitement. 

It is considered unprecedented and reportedly has  taken 26 years of Argyle production to unearth this stone. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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