Pink diamonds: the greatest collection ever seen

'Out of the Vault' is the greatest exhibition ever of very valuable pink diamond jewels worth $65 million held in London to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

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Pink diamonds are one of the most concentrated forms of wealth. One single carat stone, the size of petit pois can be worth $1 million, making them far rarer than white diamonds and the choice of deep-pocketed connoisseurs. Unlike larger, flashier stones, these fabulous freaks of nature could slip by unnoticed which only adds to their mystery.

To mark the annual Argyle pink diamond tender held in London each year Argyle Diamonds, chose to mark the Queen's Diamond jubilee with a one-day exhibition of jewels featuring pink diamonds. 42 jewels were gathered in the light-filled Orangery at Kensington Palace and displayed to the press and clients. Such is the value of these stones that collection was estimated to be worth $65 million.

The jewellers displaying their pink diamond creations were all clients of Argyle Diamonds who make sealed bids to purchase the top 50 to 60 stones that the mine yields each year. These diamonds are the most valuable because of their intense colour rather than large dimensions. 

The most impressive diamonds are given names and this year the "Argyle Siren" and "Argyle Sheen" were the stars of the show, and like all pink diamonds refered to as 'she'.

Until the discovery of pink diamonds at Argyle in Western Australia, pink diamonds were so rare that few people had ever seen one. So few of them had been found that the only place you were likely to see them was in a stone collector's glass cabinet and they were not used by jewellers as there was no consistency of supply and finding more than one was near impossible.

With only 10 years worth of life in the mine, pink diamonds are set to become even more desirable, making this exhibition an exceptional congregation of one of the world's most precious resources. Jewellery historian Vivienne Becker says of these stones: "The Argyle pink diamond has become today's ultimate possession, in incomparable object of desire that has captured the imagination of connoiseurs and collectors around the globe."

Read more about the history of pink diamonds

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