The Summer of Pink

Pop Culture Obsession with Pink; Credit: WSJ

If one were even casually glancing at the news, they’d have to call this season, The Summer of Pink. Recently the Wall Street Journal reported that the world has turned pink in anticipation of the rosy-dominant, Barbie film (release date July 21, 2023). WSJ claimed that over 100 top brands are collaborating to make this “a new pink world”.

A world awash in pink

Media watchdog, whose June traffic exceeded 46 million views, claims pink’s popularity caused the world to simply run out of pink.  Verifying this tongue-in-cheek conundrum was Sarah Greenwood, production designer for the Barbie film. “I wanted the pinks to be very bright, and everything to be almost too much.” Pink everything, from clothing to paint has become obsessively hoarded. As a result, Greenwood in an interview, “the world ran out of pink.”

LEIBISH 5.46 carat, Fancy Purple Pink Diamond

Rosy diamonds are having a moment

It doesn’t stop there. Diamond collectors have been cast under a pink spell each time a new blushing-hued stone comes to market. recently announced the sale of an extraordinary alluvial pinkie that set a new record for the highest priced stone ever offered by its seller, South African Pioneer Diamond Tender House. The 29.52-ct fancy-vivid pink diamond went for more than $8-M US, or $271,307 per carat.

Protea Pink Diamond with S. Africa’s National Flower; Credit Pioneer Diamond Tender House

There for the picking

The attractive type II rough was named the Protea Pink -- homage to South Africa’s national flower of the same color.  But there was no deep mining implemented to recover this beauty like recovery methods used at Argyle mine in Western Australia.
The Orange River; Credit: Wikipedia

Johannesburg-based miner Pioneer Diamond Tender House retrieved the flushed rough from the banks of the middle Orange River, according to Pioneer shareholder Lyndon de Meillon. South Africa’s ancient Orange River traverses the southern continent from Lesotho on its south to Namibia on the northern side spanning a total length of 2,432km (1,511 miles). 

LEIBISH 92 ct vivid yellow crystal found in the Orange River

Important diamonds have been long been found along its banks for centuries. Those diamonds originated farther up the river and were carried along its banks for eons.  This particular stone is believed to have come from a 90 million-year-old Lesotho kimberlite. At some point,”it broke off and made its way down the river, where it got trapped in a terrace approximately 500 kilometers from its original location,” Meillon explained.
 “This unique diamond…once again showcased why the alluvial diamond deposits of South Africa represent the highest and most consistent value-per-carat diamond supply in the world,” de Meillon added. The exciting recent sale keeps pink diamond prices propped up as it should. They are scarce and beautiful, a powerful combination that collectors demand.

The love affair with pinks

But what is the mesmeric draw that keeps gemstone lovers enthralled with pink diamonds?

Graff pink and white diamond brooch being constructed; Credit SCMP-Graff

South China Morning Post (SCMP) looked into the psychology behind pink diamond’s hypnotic appeal. In a Style/ Luxury feature published in Jewellery 2022, they declared, “The pretty gems are now on every maison’s radar, with top-quality ones growing exponentially in the past decade amid the closure of the Argyle diamond mine in Australia.”

SCMP enlisted Garrard & Co. creative director Sara Prentice for her expert take. “The rarity, the color and the fact they come in so many different hues make pink diamonds covetable.”

While there have never been abundant supplies of pink diamonds, their numbers have significantly dwindled with the closing of the Argyle mine in 2020. At the same time, their demand continues to surge, creating an investment niche for pinks.

Prentice underscored that pink diamonds have become a “safe valuable investment when global markets are volatile, again due to their rarity”. ▼

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