Pink diamonds are recovered from a limited number of sources around the world. India, one of the oldest known pink diamond deposits, is recognized for diamonds of a pastel color. Brazil and South Africa have also been known to harvest stones of pink color. In 1979, an area in the northwestern region of Australia, near the Argyle Lake, was found to possess pink diamonds. This region is known to harvest a consistent supply of pink diamonds with a distinctive color.
The rarity of pink diamonds can be attributed to the unusual set of factors involved in creating this pink hue. The color can be attributed to the extreme geological forces exerted on the stone after formation. These extreme heat and pressure forces manipulate the diamonds structure. Pink diamonds rarely occur in a pure pink color. Diamonds with pinkish color normally exhibit modifiers of purple, orange and brownish hues.
There are two types of naturally occurring pink diamonds: Type Ia and Type IIa. Type Ia diamonds account for most of the worlds natural pink diamonds. These diamonds contain trace amounts of nitrogen. Type IIa, which are considerably rarer, are relatively nitrogen free.
Color treatment processes have been around for hundreds of years. The most primitive process, often called “painting”, involves foil backing the stone to create a desired color. In recent years, more sophisticated treatments have evolved to create such colors. These treatments are more durable and require more intellectual process to detect. However, all treatment processes must be disclosed by the seller.
The most common color treatment process is known as High-Pressure High Temperature treatment (HPHT). HPHT process used to enhance the color of diamonds can also be used to remove color from diamonds, usually type IIa diamonds.
Synthetic Pink Diamonds
Pink diamonds can also be created in laboratories using HPHT growth machines as well as chemical vapor deposition (CVD). Using the HPHT method, diamonds are grown with Ib nitrogen impurities. Electron radiation is then used to enhance the color of the stone. The CVD method is a fairly new process. Diamonds created using this method contain type Ib components much like the HPHT method. Color enhancement treatments are then applied to enhance the color of the stone.
Pink Diamonds and The Market
Natural pink diamonds have always been a hot commodity for diamond collectors because of their extreme rarity. The limited supply of these colorful stones only adds to their rarity. It is essential that those looking to purchase colored diamonds have an awareness of the different kinds of colored diamonds available. It is also important to buy from those whom you feel comfortable. All honest and reputable sources disclose any treatment information. Trust becomes an important factor when buying precious gemstones especially when treatment options are difficult to detect.