Australian junior India Bore Diamond Holdings has unearthed extremely rare purple diamonds at the Ellendale diamond field in Western Australia.
India Bore identified a large alluvial deposit that contained fancy yellow diamonds at the East Kimberley site near Derby.
Follow-up scientific tests to the fancy yellow diamonds revealed that many featured a highly rare and attractive purple fluorescence under ultraviolet light.
Natural fluorescence occurs in about 30 per cent of diamonds, and more than 95 per cent of these fluoresce blue, with yellow and green representing just a few per cent.
India Bore spokesperson Patrick Stringer said the lucky find was completely unexpected for the company.
“The purple colour came as a complete surprise and may indicate that a new primary source of diamonds is nearby,” Stringer said.
“So far, we know that these special diamonds are contained within a specific area known as the L-Channel.
“We have a very detailed understanding of the L-Channel deposit, but we never expected to discover that fancy yellow diamonds would fluoresce purple.”
Perth-based Delta Diamond Laboratory is investigating the nature of the purple fluorescence and the signature pure yellow colour of the diamonds discovered by India Bore.
“Violent or purple fluorescence is normally associated with blue diamonds, so the fluorescence of these Ellendale fancy yellow diamonds is quite rare,” Delta diamond scientist John Chapman said.
The L-Channel of the Ellendale diamond field is estimated to contain at least 1.3 million carats of gem quality diamonds, including fancy yellows.
The diamonds are contained within a previously unknown buried river system, flowing southward through the Ellendale field.
Ellendale’s fancy yellow diamonds command a premium in the global diamond market, with many diamantaires rating them as “among the highest quality fancy yellow diamond production in the world”.