Contrary to popular belief, diamonds are not considered to be that rare anymore. In the past, diamonds were hard to come by, and this made them rare at that time, but with enhancements in technology and the opening of more mines, gem-grade diamonds have become more readily available. When compared to other stones, they are the most common stones on the market.
Due to the rarity that diamonds were known for in the past, they became a symbol of wealth and power. That symbolism survives to this day and is largely responsible for diamond prices being so high. Even so, a good quality diamond price per carat is far lower than that of a good quality sapphire or ruby.
One specific technological advancement has also aided in making diamonds far more accessible, and that is the ability to create diamonds in a lab. A natural diamond is formed over long periods of time, 125-200km below the surface of the earth under 45-60 KBR of pressure. Lab-created diamonds, therefore, have solved the problem of natural demand. Still, diamond prices remain sky-high.
If you ever find yourself questioning whether a diamond is really as rare as diamond dealers and the wider diamond industry wants you to believe, then think about how many people you know own at least one diamond. Now, how many people do you know who owns a ruby or sapphire, or even an emerald?
When the large diamond cache in the Kimberley mine was found in South Africa, De Beers prevented a large flood of diamonds from hitting the market by buying the mine and the cache and releasing only enough diamonds per year to satisfy the yearly demand. They controlled diamond pricing and perpetuated the idea that diamonds were rare. Eventually, they would face legal action for price-fixing.
This will not change the fact that De Beers controlled the diamond price for decades and, despite the legal action they faced, are still operational today. Their actions are also still affecting current diamond prices, and the influence that they had over the perception of diamond engagement rings has changed the public diamond buying practices.
The price of a diamond is calculated according to four criteria: carat weight, clarity grades, color, and cut quality. They are known as the Four C’s. With this system, there are no one criteria that is more important than another: they all work together to determine diamond prices.
Diamonds, despite what most people believe, are also not the most expensive gemstones. High-grade rubies and sapphires fetch much higher prices than good-quality diamonds, but high-quality rubies and sapphires are extremely rare, and lower-quality stones are more affordable and easier to come by. This creates the perception that diamonds are the most expensive simply because high-quality diamonds are more readily available.
You will also notice that the value of a diamond drops significantly once purchased. A second-hand diamond, whether worn regularly or not, loses an average of 30% of its market value/selling price.
The color grade of a diamond actually shows how clear the diamond is. A “D” indicated the highest grade, which means that the diamond has no color and no inclusions. Inclusions can affect the integrity and sparkle of the stone.
It is a general misconception that a diamond has the highest brilliance rate. In reality, that are around eight gemstones in circulation that have higher brilliance rates than a diamond.
The carat weight of a diamond is often believed to be the most important factor for diamond pricing, but this is not accurate. A heavier diamond of low quality can be less expensive than a smaller diamond of better quality.
A large gem-quality diamond is extremely rare in nature. So larger diamonds are rarer than smaller ones. However, carat weight alone does not determine diamond quality.
Something interesting to note about a fancy black diamond is that it is so much denser than a colorless diamond that a 1-carat diamond that is black will be smaller than a 1-carat diamond that is colorless. This discrepancy between a diamond’s carat weight and the diamond color is entirely dependent on the density of the stone and has little to do with the overall quality.
In recent years man-made diamonds have become more and more popular. They are the same as mined diamonds but far less expensive. Another added benefit is that creating diamonds in a lab precludes the need for mining, which damages the environment greatly, making man-made diamonds far more eco-friendly.
It is important to note here that diamonds created in a lab are not “fake,” as many people believe. They are real and pretty much the same as a diamond that was mined from the earth. They are cheaper simply because they involve less manual labor and less resources to come by.
Fancy colored diamonds might be cheaper than colorless diamonds, but they are far more rare. Some even believe that supply will completely run out within the next ten years.
The reason for the difference in price is that colorless diamonds are in higher demand than a colored diamond. This has meant that most fancy diamonds are more affordable than those that are colorless. This is with certain exceptions. For example, red diamonds are so rare that only about 20 to 30 exist in the market right now.
A fancy colored diamond cannot be priced according to the Four C’s because they are not colorless, and some of them can be opaque, for example, a black diamond. Therefore, fancy diamond prices are calculated on their own system.
The popularity of having an engagement ring featuring a diamond was also perpetuated by De Beers. They ran a fairly extensive campaign to promote engagement rings featuring a diamond which added to the demand for these jewels.
In the past, sapphires and rubies were by far more popular for an engagement ring than diamonds.
There is a specific kind of diamond that is considered rare. The bigger, the less color, and the more clear a diamond is, the rarer it is. Most diamonds of gem quality are of average price and quality and easy to come by. But large diamonds of excellent quality that occur naturally are extremely rare.
Therefore, color and clarity grades combined with carat weights determine whether a specific diamond is rare or not. Internally flawless diamonds are easy to make in a lab, and you can make them pretty big. So again, a naturally occurring perfect diamond might be rare, but only in combination with other factors.
As mentioned earlier, some naturally occurring color diamonds are also exceptionally rare, such as red diamonds. With a fancy diamond, the diamond’s color will have a major effect on the actual diamond prices.
The shape of your diamond will affect its overall price per carat. This is determined by the demand for the diamond shape and the rarity of the cut. An Asscher cut diamond of excellent cut quality is the most expensive and quite rare.
Round diamonds and brilliant-cut grade diamonds are in high demand and result in a higher degree of loss during the diamond cutting process, which results in a fairly high price per carat as well.
Princess cut diamonds cause less loss during cutting which means a more affordable price tag per carat. An Oval or Cushion cut diamond is even more affordable. The least expensive for the same carat weight is Pear, and Marquise cut diamonds.
A poorly cut diamond cost will be lower than a diamond cut by expert diamond cutters who produce higher quality cuts of the same carat size.
Looking at a diamond price chart can be helpful under certain circumstances. Make sure that the chart is up to date; checking a price per carat weight chart from a few years ago will naturally be unreliable. Remember that a price per carat chart only indicates average diamond cost and does not always account for diamond color and clarity grade.
Things like the diamond’s shape, the diamond’s appearance, and the overall clarity grade will affect the price per carat. A good quality 1-carat diamond can be worth far more than a poor quality 1-carat diamond.
A price chart also only includes the prices of loose diamonds per carat. You might be able to calculate diamond prices in isolation depending on whether it is a one-carat diamond or a two-carat diamond, etc., but you cannot easily account for the cost of a completed piece of diamond jewelry.
The International Gem Society provides detailed information on how to find the best diamond color grade for fancy diamonds. A fancy diamond’s price is also determined by its quality and the quality of the cut. A higher quality and higher carat diamond will be more expensive than a lower quality, same carat diamond.
If you want to save money, you can buy lab-grown diamonds, which will be cheaper. The names of the IGS color grades for fancy diamonds include examples like “fancy deep” and “fancy intense”. Learn what each one means and how it affects the price of the carat diamond that you are looking for.
Remember also that if you want to buy a piece of jewelry with a center diamond or something featuring a diamond in some other way that diamond cost calculators only provide prices for a loose diamond. The cost of the metal and labor is not included.
Yes, you can. They are available online. It might be more difficult to buy a rough diamond in a jewelry store, but there might be some stores that can assist with this kind of purchase.
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