What Makes Diamonds Valuable?
Diamonds are impressive jewels that everyone can’t help but be mesmerised by. And, as they are created naturally by our beautiful Earth, over a time period of up to 3.3 billion years, it’s no wonder that they’re so valuable. This article takes a look at what makes diamonds valuable, who has the final say in their price and whether or not they’re priceless.
Why Are Diamonds So Valuable?
There is an appreciation for any natural resource in this world, but there is something particularly captivating about these perfectly curated pieces that come from deep within the planet that makes them such a valuable commodity. The rule of thumb is to follow the guidelines of the 4 C’s: Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat. Here is a list of the top 5 reasons why diamonds are valuable:
1. Diamond Mining Is Costly
We all know about mining now that the world is so globalised, but it’s a no-brainer to assume the cost of a diamond increased due to the process to extract them from deep within the Earth’s surface. The cost to set up a mine and the accommodation for all of the workers, often working on a fly-in-fly-out schedule, alongside the mine’s functionality costs as they are often in remote places such as in the middle of the desert or beneath the sea, are some of the main reasons why diamond jewels are so precious.
2. The Shape or 'Cut' of the Diamond
This is one of the biggest ways to measure whether or not your diamond is valuable or not. There are many different cuts, which include the princess, pear, oval and many more, however, the most expensive cut is the round brilliant cut because it requires a lot of skill and time to cut it perfectly. On the contrary, a cushion or ‘pillow’ cut shape is one of the most inexpensive cuts as not a lot of the original rough diamond is actually cut off.
3. The Diamond Colouring
Red diamonds fall into the category of the most expensive coloured diamond in the world, however, there are other colouring factors to consider when evaluating the value of a diamond. Generally, the whiter a diamond is the higher in value. Blue diamonds, meanwhile, have their own colour chart that diamond expert valuers use to determine their worth.
The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) developed a colour grading system between D (the most colourless) to Z (light colouring present). The higher the grade, the less valuable it will likely be.
4. DeBeer's Marketing
DeBeers is the largest diamond mining company in the world and spent many years in control of the diamond market, however, today they sell roughly 30% of the world’s diamonds – still giving them immense power to control the market.
This company is incredibly significant to the industry as they initiated the idea that love coincides with diamonds, and therefore, created a marketing scheme for diamond engagement rings to keep the diamond industry moving. This was a clever manoeuvre as clear diamonds are not considered a rare gem and they didn’t want the market flooded, which could have resulted in the depreciation of diamonds.
4. The Ethical Standards of the Diamond
We’ve all heard of unethical standards across all retail groups across the world, and unfortunately there is no difference in the diamond mining realm. With strict international standards to ensure the safety and ethical treatment of miners, there are still unethical mining techniques happening that exploit people, and children and have high prevalence rates of human trafficking. This can often also affect the value of the diamond significantly.
What Is the Most Expensive Diamond in the World?
We’re all familiar with beautiful, sparkly clear diamonds that we associate engagement rings with, or Audrey Hepburn wandering around the jewellers in Breakfast at Tiffany’s – but the most expensive diamonds in the world are red diamonds.
They have mostly been mined in Australia and enjoyed all around the globe, with the most iconic red diamond being the Cullinan II diamond that stands proud and centred on the late Queen Elizabeth’s crown jewel, which she famously wore at her coronation in 1953.
Where Can I Get My Diamond Valued?
You can get your diamond, whether it is a loose diamond or diamond wedding ring, valued at many places in the UK. Opting for a diamond wholesaler with experience and a good reputation will ensure your diamond is given the correct value as they will grade and value it in line with GIA rules and standards.