Public pink diamond exhibition

Press release

The largest collection of Australian pink diamonds to be shown in a public exhibition in the world will transform the Dynamic Earth gallery at Melbourne Museum into a shimmering wonderland from now until January.

Museums Victoria is partnering with New York-based LJ West Diamonds, one of the largest collectors of natural colour diamonds in the world, to provide an exclusive opportunity for Australians and international visitors to marvel at pink diamonds. The Pink Diamonds exhibition will showcase more than 100 truly unique gemstones found in the Australian East Kimberley region. 

“Museums Victoria is pleased to present this world-first display of some of the earth’s extraordinary beauties,” Museums Victoria director and CEO Lynley Crosswell said. “The exhibition will bring to light their dazzling hues, the fascinating science and the precise skill required to cut these exquisite gemstones.”

For the first time, a collection of some of the world’s most exquisite Australian pink diamonds – which make up 90 percent of all pink diamonds in the global market – will be on public display, including the 2.83 carat Argyle Violet, one of the most spectacular gems on Earth. It is “one of the rarest jewels in the world, 100 times rarer than a pink diamond – it’s the Picasso of the collection,” said Larry West. Placed in the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles in 2016, it is the only stone in history to carry this colour grading which is produced by the presence of hydrogen.

“I have been building my collection of Argyle pink diamonds for 30 years, many of which have never been on public display,” said Larry West. “I am thrilled for the best of the collection to be back in Australia and presented as the largest pink diamond exhibition ever.”

“Our planet created these flawless diamonds over 1.6 billion years ago. Finding a pink diamond is like retrieving the ‘needle from the haystack’ – only one carat in every million will display this intense pink colour. They remind us how truly wonderful nature is,” said Dermot Henry, Museums Victoria Research Institute’s Head of Sciences. 

This once in a lifetime opportunity will allow audiences to discover what gives pink diamonds their distinctive colour, and the art behind cutting, polishing and setting diamonds as jewellery.

Pink Diamonds is showing at Melbourne Museum from 5 November 2022 to 29 January 2023 and is free with Museum entry.

Pink Diamond facts:

• All the Australian pink diamonds that have ever been sold can fit into two champagne flutes

• Of every one million carats mined, only one carat is a tender stone

• Argyle pink diamonds were formed 1.6 billion years ago

• It can take up to a year to cut a perfect pink diamond

Further reading: