We all knew this day would come. And not just the simple fact of the Argyle mine’s closure on Nov. 3, 2020. Now, anyone who deals in, collects, or just loves colored diamonds is coming to terms with a hard truth: There are far fewer pink diamonds on the planet than there were before (and there weren’t that many to begin with).
For Scott West and Jordan Fine, two prominent New York–based diamantaires specializing in important colored diamonds, the realization was a difficult pill to swallow.
“At the 2019 Argyle Tender, Scott and I were having a discussion, and I remember saying if we were to look at his inventory, my inventory, and all of the authorized Argyle partners’ inventory and fast-forward two to three years, it’s very possible that we’re going to be entirely wiped out of Argyle pinks and have nothing left,” remembers Fine, president of J. Fine. “And that kind of invoked a sense of fear in us.”
So not long afterward, each took stock of his pink diamond inventory, most of it accumulated over many decades’ worth of tenders, and came up with the idea to collaborate on a limited-edition tribute to the Argyle mine.
It’s called the Twilight collection.
“Putting together a significant collection of Argyle pinks like this really is a last hurrah,” says West, lead designer for Scott West Jewelry and vice president of its parent company, L.J. West Diamonds. “Even if it’s a huge success and everything sells, we won’t be able to put something like this together again.”
There simply isn’t enough material. Yet demand for the mine’s famed pink diamonds is at an all-time high.
“I think all of Argyle’s authorized partners have been doing very well, especially over the last year, but I can confidently say we all have less inventory than we did one year ago,” adds West. “Demand only seems to be increasing the pace at which people are wanting to buy these stones. The reality is starting to set in more and more that this is it.”
The Twilight collection is launching at Borsheims. The Omaha, Neb., retailer is a known industry leader; West and Fine were also drawn to the prestige of its being owned by Berkshire Hathaway, making it a uniquely appealing platform for the collection’s debut.
“We always pride ourselves on being one of the first in the industry to create new initiatives and/or recognize new offerings,” Borsheims diamond buyer Heather Ingraham tells JCK. “When we were approached about this partnership, we knew it would be a great pairing for our Berkshire Hathaway shareholders and elite customers. With the closing of the Argyle mine, we recognize that opportunities to purchase pink diamonds will begin to diminish, so we’re very proud to host this amazing pink diamond offering.”
About a hundred pieces will kick off the event; many of the Twilight jewels currently appear online in a look book format, and all the pieces will be shoppable during an in-store trunk show April 26–May 8.
Interestingly, a key standout from the collection features not a pink diamond but a purple one: Scott West’s Argyle Imperial Star Violet ring (so named because the shield-cut center stone resembles the Star Wars Imperial Star Destroyer). The luminous violet stone is ultrarare, one of the top 42 diamonds ever unearthed from the Argyle mine (L.J. West procured it at the 2006 Argyle Tender). For perspective: In the 32 years that Argyle has been in operation, it has only produced a mere 12 cts. of polished violet diamonds.
Following the Borsheims event, the Twilight pieces that remain will embark on a kind of international road show to make appearances at other retail locations (firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries); each retail partner will be furnished with robust sales training and marketing collateral on par with what was created to support the Borsheims launch.
“The light is going down on the mine and we’re sad but also in a celebratory mood,” says Fine. “Mainly, we’re excited to share the joy that the Argyle pink diamonds have brought us for so many years with retailers and their consumers. We had a steady and beautiful supply that we could make really incredible pieces with and…now the source of that supply is gone. So the Twilight collection is historic by definition. But I think we can be wistful for the end of an era and also celebrate it.”
Here are more highlights from the collection, best enjoyed with rosé Champagne and some Donna Summer in the background: “Last dance / Last dance for love / Yes, it’s my last chance / For romance tonight…”
Top, from left, all from the Twilight collection: Bracelet in platinum and 18k rose gold with 2.73 cts. t.w. Argyle pink diamonds and 4.53 cts. t.w. white diamonds, $96,250; halo pendant in platinum and 18k rose gold with 0.26 ct. t.w. Argyle pink diamonds and 0.43 ct. t.w. white diamonds, $17,000; necklace in platinum and 18k rose gold with 7.07 cts. t.w. Argyle pink diamonds and 9.98 cts. t.w. white diamonds, $262,500; ring in platinum and 18k rose gold with 0.38 ct. t.w. Argyle pink diamonds and 0.59 ct. t.w. white diamonds, $20,000; and ring in platinum and 18k rose gold with 1.02 ct. Argyle fancy orangey pink diamond with 0.28 ct. t.w. Argyle pink diamonds and 0.28 ct. t.w. white diamonds, $131,250; all J. Fine. See highlights from the collection via Instagram live hosted by @borsheims on April 22 at 1 p.m. ET.
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