John Glajz, a Singapore-based Argyle Pink Diamond Authorised partner and regional ambassador for the Natural Color Diamond Association (NCDIA), has created a second limited-edition curated collection of 1,000 Argyle pink diamonds, following the success of the original collection in 2017.
Like the 2017 collection, the 2021 stones will each be independently certified by the International Gemological Institute (IGI) and come with reports and security seals to prove their authenticity.
Glajz said, “Having seen the production volumes of these rare diamonds dwindle and their prices increase over a 25-year period, I wanted to create a collection that was independently graded in accordance to international gemmological standards and also independently security-sealed in order to make the diamonds attainable for the broader market.”
He added, “We released and promoted the first Collector’s Edition of Argyle pinks in 2017. Initially, we were conscious of creating something that could be easily gifted and made into, or added to an existing, piece of jewellery. The demand for our first edition was overwhelming – more than 2,000 diamonds were graded, distributed and sold within a two-and-a-half-year period.”
Glajz said IGI was selected for its grading expertise and ability to scientifically attest Argyle Mine origin.
Deborah Pienica, managing director IGI, added, “Amid the challenges presented during the last year, the Institute is proud to be certifying a substantial quantity of pink diamonds. We are confident in the success of this collection and are honoured to work alongside John Glajz on another special edition.”
Glajz revealed that the decision to create a second Collector’s Edition was made when the impending closure of the Argyle Mine – which eventually took place in November 2020 – was announced by its owner and operator, Rio Tinto.
“The message of ‘It’s over’ hit home and there was an exponential increase in demand for Argyle pink diamonds, ranging from melée to smaller singles and the signature Argyle Tender diamonds, throughout the world,” Glajz explained.
“It almost felt like the product was magically immune to the global pandemic!”
Indeed, data from the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF) found that pink diamond prices slipped by less than 1 per cent during 2020, and had stabilised by the fourth quarter of the year. Last year’s Argyle Tender also recorded record-breaking results.
“Having been encouraged by some of our wholesale suppliers and enthusiastic retailers, we embarked on creating this second Collector’s Edition as a tribute to the discovery of what would become the Argyle Mine on top of an anthill in Western Australia in 1979, with a special new design on the reports and seals,” Glajz added.
Selecting Collector’s Edition stones from the extensive Glajz inventory has been a “continuous work in progress”, he tells Jeweller, explaining, “Having been a major Argyle Authorised Partner for more than two decades, my company always took a substantial product position directly from Argyle.
“When we embarked on the first Collector’s Edition, our projection was to maybe build a collection of 1,000 diamonds – when this more than doubled, we even started breaking older jewellery items in order to keep up with the demand for single and multiple diamond packets!”
The Argyle Mine was officially closed in November 2020 after 37 years of operation, in which it yielded more than 860 million carats of rough diamonds. It produced approximately 90–95 per cent of the world’s pink and red diamonds during its lifetime.
“With the mine now officially closed, supply will only be available from the secondary market, so our work with IGI provides the ideal instrument to continue the independent identification and grading, as well as the effective marketing and global distribution of these esteemed diamonds,” Glajz explained.
A final Argyle Tender of pink, red, and violet diamonds is expected to be held by the mine’s owner, Rio Tinto, later this year.
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