The origins of pink Argyle diamonds are being investigated using optical spectroscopy facilities that have helped characterise the colour of pink diamonds by analysing the reaction to certain wavelengths of light of the atomic defect responsible for the colour.

“Rio Tinto Diamonds wanted to characterise this change and discover the underlying cause of the defect and its behaviour,”
says PhD student Keal Byrne.

“This work will provide Rio Tinto with an understanding of the cause of colour in their most prized gems and also with methods for verifying the authenticity of pink Argyle diamonds.”

The properties of this crystalline defect could also be useful for research into optical systems and technologies.