Back in 2020, after 37 years of bringing us some of the world’s finest Diamonds, Rio Tinto made the decision to close Australia’s Argyle Diamond mine. During its time, the mine provided around 865 million carats of Diamonds, and claimed the status of being the world’s largest Diamond mine by volume produced.
However, due to the mine’s closure and deposits diminishing, Australian Argyle Diamonds are heavily sought after and are running out fast. Here at Gemporia, we’re currently saying goodbye to our last remaining parcels; so, to commemorate the end of a spectacular era in the gemstone world, we’re taking a look back at the discovery, history and legend that is the Australian Argyle Diamond.
DISCOVERY AND HISTORY
The Australian Argyle Diamond was discovered in 1979 by London-born geologist Maureen Muggeridge. After making her way to Perth, Western Australia in 1972, Muggeridge discovered Diamonds in the flood plains surrounding Smoke Creek, a small stream which drained into Lake Argyle.
After Muggeridge’s discovery the mine grew and grew, and spent the next four decades producing around 865 million carats of Diamonds. The mine’s most successful year was 1994, after 42.8 million carats were produced in that year alone.
However, it wasn’t just one variety of Diamond that the Argyle mine in Australia produced; During its time in operation, the mine produced over 90% of the world’s supply of Natural Pink Diamonds. It's no secret that the closure of the mine caused the prices of Pink Diamonds to increase, and the possibility of ever finding another reliable supply of them remains uncertain.
THE MINE CLOSURE
Fast forward from its discovery to 2013, and a huge amount of effort was taken to keep the Australian Argyle mine open for as long as possible. To allow miners to hunt deeper for more Diamonds, Argyle converted to an underground mine; however, the deeper into a mine you go, the more expensive the operation gets – as a result, the economies of mining became unbalanced.
Eventually, the mining costs began to outweigh the level of Diamonds produced, which prompted Rio Tinto to make the difficult decision to close Australia's Argyle mine in 2020.
OUR AUSTRALIAN ARGYLES
As deposits continue to diminish, we are extremely fortunate to be able to still bring you a small collection of exceptional Argyle pieces from Australia, including the finest White and Champagne Diamonds. However, just like the mine, these pieces aren’t going to be around forever – the parcels we have currently are the last we will ever be able to bring to you, and once they’re gone, we will have no choice but to say goodbye to Australian Argyle forever.
To take advantage of one of your very last chances to own a piece of Diamond history, don't miss the opportunity to shop our website for the final 3% of our stock, and be with us as we say farewell to our last ever Australian Argyle Diamond collection.
To shop Australian Argyles on our website, visit: www.gemporia.com/en-gb/argyle-diamonds