23/04/2009 - 00:00

In the pink with a rare cut

23/04/2009 - 00:00

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RECOGNISED as the most concentrated form of wealth on earth, the extremely rare pink diamond is one ultra high-end niche business that appears to be defying global commodity trends.

RECOGNISED as the most concentrated form of wealth on earth, the extremely rare pink diamond is one ultra high-end niche business that appears to be defying global commodity trends.

And that's good news for Rio Tinto subsidiary Argyle, the world's primary producer of pink diamonds, and a select group of fine jewellers, including Subiaco-based Linneys.

The two companies have enjoyed a more than 20-year association, with Linneys part of only a small group of Argyle's jeweller clients worldwide to work with pink diamonds. It also holds one of the largest collections of pink diamonds in WA.

Pink diamonds make up just one 10th of 1 per cent of total annual production at Argyle's Kimberley mine, which is responsible for more than 90 per cent of the global supply.

Prices are dictated by the intensity of the colour, and range from the tens of thousands of dollars a carat to over $1 million a carat. And the value of these rare stones is set to rise even higher, with production at the Argyle mine predicted to halt in 10 years.

Over the past 25 years, the value of pink diamonds has grown 10 to 15 per cent, on average, year on year. Last December, Argyle received the highest price ever paid for a pink diamond.

"It's a rare product today and its only going to get rarer as we get closer to the end of the mine life," Argyle Pink Diamonds business manager Josephine Archer said.

This week, Linneys is holding an exhibition featuring individual polished pink diamonds and jewellery pieces, valued at $10 million.

Linneys chief executive David Fardon said the jeweller was experiencing a healthy interest in pink diamonds despite the economic climate.

"People are being more cautious in their decision making. We are seeing significant interest in pieces that have collectability about them," he said.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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