Monday, September 27, 2010

Diamonds...are they forever?

I was speaking about diamonds recently with a friend, and I raised the point that apart from being the hardest stone it is a commodity purchase - there's rarely a second hand market for diamonds.  I mean really.  Try selling a diamond ring.  Most folks in the diamond trade will tell you, it's like driving a new car out of the car dealers, you lose 40% of the value.

This is all down to the sheer brilliance of deBeers and their marketing.  They control supply and the market price is driven up.  Since the beginning of the 20th century DeBeers and South African diamonds dominated supply in the market.  Just think of it - before WWII, diamonds weren't popular as engagement rings at all.  Then, the famous campaign was launched "A diamond is forever".  However the diamond trade controlled by DeBeers didn't count on Australia being a rich source of rare (and coloured) diamonds and in the 1990s when Russian diamonds swamped the market in the 90s.  So what did they do?  DeBeers began to market eternity rings - comprising of the smaller diamonds exported from Russia.  Now to keep diamond sales dropping off, they are marketed to independent career women - who deserve to give the best to themselves in the form of "celebration rings" which is best showcased by Tiffany's.  If the truth be told, we've now learned how to manufacture man-made diamonds - even DeBeers is in the action!  Do you think the public wants to buy them?  No way!  The greatest clients for industrial man made diamonds are the super-wealthy, because they get away with wearing them, and their valuables are protected.  The market for making money for real diamonds stays with the average middle class right across the world.

Regardless we still love them right?  The Diamond Exchange is a great site for looking at different sizes of diamonds.  My favourite cut is the Asscher cut which was originally developed in London - their brilliance is due in part to their depth. A well-cut Asscher diamond delivers more brilliance and dispersion than most fine-cut modern cuts.  My favourite colour diamond would have to be blue *dreamy* followed of course by the clear and sparkling original!

Blue Diamond
Ascher Cut Diamond

Argyle Pink Diamond
Canary Yellow Diamond

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