Posted on November 19, 2013 by

What Are Pink Diamonds Made Of?

Natural fancy pink diamonds are arguably the most desired of all. While their rarity and value are well-known, accounting for their pink color is a puzzle that stymies even scientists. The overwhelming majority of the world’s pink – and red  – diamonds comes from the Argyle mine in Western Australia, where ninety percent of the global pink and red diamond supply is manufactured.  The overall output, however, is truly minimal: only five percent of the total diamond yield will make the cut as gemstones, but even more inconceivably, less than one percent of that volume will be pink or red.


Our 4.20 carat Natural Fancy Pink IF radiant cut diamond has already sold but we still enjoy admiring its beauty via photos.


As with all diamonds, pink diamonds are born under a combination of intense pressure and temperature in the far reaches of the Earth’s crust. Pink diamonds, like other diamonds, are made of carbon atoms that have fused a bond with one another to form a crystalline lattice. One crucial difference determines whether the diamond is colorless or pink: in colorless diamonds, the crystalline lattice is resistant to the absorption of light, leading to their colorless look, whereas pink diamonds contain deformities in their structures, in which one or more carbon atoms are either absent or displaced due to exposure to very high temperatures and pressure after diamond formation. Pink diamonds contain sufficient structural defects and have been warped enough that they absorb light and consequently reflect only red-toned light, resulting in the pink hues that pink diamonds exhibit. The gamut of pink diamonds from Light Pink to Fancy Vivid Pink to the exceptionally rare Fancy Red depends on the level of pressure and temperature to which the diamonds are submitted. The varying degrees of pressure and heat ultimately determine the assortment of pink diamonds that form.


Although we know how the other colored diamonds get their color – nitrogen gives yellow diamonds their warm color while blue diamonds owe their existence to the presence of boron – the nature of the structural deformities in pink diamonds remains the million-dollar question that still has no answer.


To learn more about these rare diamonds, read our fancy pink diamond guide.


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