A rare 0.31 carat Argyle pink diamond was stolen from a Northern Australian jeweller last week and, even with the thief in custody, the stone has yet to be found.
The robbery took place at Diamond Gallery in Cairns, Northern Australia on Saturday, February 15 as the store’s 71-year old owner was showing his prized possession to a customer when the man grabbed the container holding the jewel and took off on a bicycle.
A suspect, Matthew Osborne, has since been arrested for the crime. He was nabbed over 3000 kilometres away trying to board a plane out of a Melbourne heading to New Zealand.
It was first assumed that since the stone was only 4.3 millimetres in diameter that Osborne must have swallowed it. However, x-rays provided no evidence of it. Local police are now looking into whether he may have smuggled it out of the country prior to his arrest.
The stolen pink diamond was from Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine in Western Australia and is valued at over $200,000. As the value of colour diamonds continues to skyrocket, Just nine months earlier, the store had taken out an extra insurance policy specific to that stone.
The reason for the skyrocketing value for pink diamonds is that they are extremely rare and the world’s supply of them may be gone within the next 5 years. Close to 95 per cent of pink diamonds in history have been found in the Argyle mine but that location is set to cease operations by 2019.
Pink diamonds are so rare that scientists are not even certain how they have been created. It is thought that the stones are formed when there is an abnormal amount of molecular compression during the diamond’s formation. But with the world’s supply of the precious stones nearing its end, we may never know the true cause of its brilliant colour.