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When it comes to engagement rings, a white diamond is obviously the classic choice. White diamonds are beautiful and timeless, but they’re not exactly unique. For those who want something that stands out, a colored gemstone is the way to go. A pink diamond is elegant, feminine, and undeniably romantic, and certainly worth the investment.
What Is a Pink Diamond?
A pink diamond can range from pale pink to pale red, and the color is caused by a process called plastic deformation. Unlike other colored diamonds, which get their color from chemical impurities that absorb light, pink diamonds do not derive their color because of impurities.
Pink diamonds are rare, and according to the Gemological Institute of America, make up only about one percent of diamond production worldwide. This rarity probably explains why they’re something of a celebrity favorite: pink diamond engagement rings have been spotted on the fingers of stars like Blake Lively, Victoria Beckham, and Mariah Carey.
Want to join the pink diamond engagement ring club? Ahead, jewelers Kim Kanary of JTV and Azra Mehdi of Au Xchange share everything to know about this precious colored gemstone.
Meet the Expert
History of Pink Diamonds
Pink diamonds have a long and interesting history. Mehdi tells Brides that they were first discovered in India in the Golconda mines. “The earliest known pink diamonds are in the Iranian crown jewel collection: the Daria-i-Noor (182 carats) and the Noor-ul-Ain (60 carats). Both [were] cut from the same 400-carat rough diamond mined from Golconda mines in India,” she says.
And while pink diamonds have always been rare, they’re about to become even rarer. “Over 90% of the world’s pink diamonds come from the Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia’s East Kimberley region,” Kanary explains. “After running for 37 years, the mine closed on November 3, 2020, due to supply and demand. The company that owns the mine will hold a final Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender later in 2021, after which the fate of the yet-to-be-mined Argyle diamonds is unknown.” She adds, “If you took one year’s worth of the total yield of rough pink diamonds from the entire world, it would fit into the palm of your hand.”
Pink Diamonds vs. White Diamonds
Of course, the most obvious difference between pink and white diamonds is color. Aside from that, they’re quite similar, with the biggest difference being that pink diamonds are more rare and expensive. According to Mehdi, pink diamonds are “20 times more expensive than white diamonds of the same size because of their rarity and limited supply.”
Just like white diamonds, pink diamonds are evaluated based on the 4Cs (color, clarity, cut, and carat weight). “Unlike white diamonds, pink diamonds from the Argyle mine are graded on a color scale of 1-9, nine being the lightest and one being the darkest,” Mehdi says. “Like white diamonds, clarity in pink diamonds is measured on a scale from Flawless to Included, but less than seven percent of pink diamonds are either Flawless or Internally Flawless, and majority are Slightly Included.”
Pros and Cons of Pink Diamonds
The rarity of a pink diamond is a big part of what makes it so special and desirable. Many people who choose pink diamonds do so because of their beautiful color, which can come in a range of saturations, from a light, subtle pink to a bright, hot pink.
And, of course, like white diamonds, pink diamonds are extremely durable, making them an excellent engagement ring stone. “They are the hardest known natural substance, and only another diamond can scratch your diamond,” Kanary says. “Diamonds are known for their high dispersion and brilliance, which cause the scintillating flashes of color and light that everyone loves.” Basically, you get the durability and strength of a white diamond in a pretty hue.
The biggest downside to a pink diamond is the cost—they are very pricey, even if they aren’t perfect. “Even if pink diamonds have lower clarity, i.e. they have a lot of inclusions, they are nonetheless very expensive relative to other fancy colored diamonds,” Mehdi reveals.
You can get a better quality white diamond for less money than you would spend on any kind of pink diamond.
What to Look for in a Pink Diamond Engagement Ring
Considering a pink diamond for your engagement ring? Here are a few questions and answers you should know before you look for the perfect stone.
- How do the 4Cs impact pink diamonds? Kanary recommends figuring out which features are most important to you in a stone (color, cut, clarity, or carat weight) and going from there. “If you’re looking for a deeply saturated color, you may have to pull back on your size and clarity requirements,” she says. “If you want a stone free of visible inclusions, you may need to tweak your color and carat weight preferences. This is because pink diamonds are rare, and so finding the 'perfect' one can be difficult."
- Are pink diamonds available in large carat weights? If you want a large stone, pink diamonds might not be for you. “Pink diamonds come in primarily low carat weights, so if you’re looking for a larger stone, you will require a more significant budget,” Kanary shares.
- Should I buy a certified pink diamond? “Insist on a certificate of authenticity even for a smaller stone because of the higher instances of fraud (i.e. passing a lab-grown pink diamond as natural) due to the drying up of available pink diamond sources,” says Mehdi. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- How do lab-grown pink diamonds compare to natural pink diamonds? If you don’t have the budget for an authentic pink diamond, both Mehdi and Kanary recommend opting for a lab-grown pink diamond. “Lab-grown diamonds are chemically, physically, and optically the same as mined diamonds—the difference is really in origin,” Kanary says. “So, while still an investment piece, lab-grown diamonds enable you to find high-quality stones in larger sizes that won’t break the bank.”
How to Care for Your Pink Diamond
You should take care of your pink diamond the same way you would take care of any other diamond. You can keep it clean with a jewelry cleaner or a little soap and warm water. Be sure to choose a well-made setting to ensure that the diamond won’t easily fall out. And although pink diamonds are very durable, you might want to avoid wearing one while doing rough work, just to ensure this precious and rare stone doesn’t chip.
Ahead, scroll through 20 romantic pink diamond engagement rings we love.
Leibish Extraordinary Argyle Fancy Intense Pink Ring
This ring features a 0.73-carat pink diamond. But there’s still plenty of sparkle thanks to the open pavé halo and outer halo set in marquise-shaped diamonds in shared prongs. This unique ring, featuring various cuts, is set in platinum and rose gold.
Jean Dousset Chelsea La Vie en Rose Solitaire Engagement Ring
A slightly less expensive way to incorporate pink diamonds in your engagement ring is to go for pavé pink diamonds rather than a center stone. This ring features a cushion-cut white diamond on a band of tiny pink diamonds for a unique look.