uccessful marketing and hype have led diamonds to be a status symbol – a token of marriage or romance – something that a woman must receive from a man. Diamonds are actually so precious that they are one of the most promising investments a person can make.
Around 130,000,000 (or 26,000 kg) diamonds are mined annually, which amounts to $9 billion. Roughly 10,000 kg of diamonds are synthesized every year.
About 49% of diamonds come from Central and South Africa, but they can also be found in India, Brazil, Australia, Canada, and Russia. Gem quality diamonds can be seen in South Africa, Botswana, Australia, Congo, Russia, Namibia, and Angola. They are evaluated, cut, and sold mostly in primary diamond processing centers in India, Antwerp, China, Thailand, Johannesburg, Tel Aviv, London, Amsterdam, and New York. After they are cut and polished, they are sold to diamond jewelry manufacturers or wholesalers in one of the 28 registered diamond bourses (exchanges) around the world. The members of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) serve as middlemen for wholesale diamond exchange, dealing with polished or rough diamonds. After purchase, retailers or wholesalers prepare the diamonds for final sale to the consumer either as jewelry or as a raw gem.
Dubai is the regional distribution center for the Middle East while New York, which is considered the largest market for diamonds in the world, is the point of entry to the United States. In just one day, sales can reach up to $400 million in the Diamond District in New York, which consists of 2,600 diamond shops.
More than 50% of rough, polished, and industrial diamonds pass through Antwerp, which has an annual turnover of $39 billion. Antwerp is the world’s diamond capital, although there are also large hubs in India.
A few hundred million women wear diamonds, while some keep them in safes or safety deposit boxes. A translucent diamond without color is considered the purest.
Diamonds are not just precious gems for jewelry, though. They have many industrial uses, too, such as polishing and cutting other materials. They are also used in the production of computer processors and microchips.
History of the
Historians say that the diamond trade started more than 1,000 years ago. Diamonds were abundant in India well before they were discovered in other parts of the world. By the 16th century, the business shifted to Amsterdam and Antwerp. In the 18th century, it moved to Brazil and South Africa.
The price of diamonds depends on the four C’s: cut, color, carat, and clarity. Cut is deemed to be the most important because that’s what a diamond’s brilliance depends on. Unlike precious metals, there is no universal price per gram for diamonds. It’s cheaper to produce synthetic diamonds than to mine them.
According to the Rapaport Diamond Report, a 4.09 carat or 98 mg stone may cost $5,500 per carat or more; whereas a half carat or 100 mg stone with the same quality may cost $7,500. This means that stones that are rarer, such as green, blue, pink, and yellow diamonds, cost more. This color rarity has been a proven and effective investment for the past five years. From 1990 to 2011, the value of three-carat diamonds rose by 146%, while five-carat diamonds increased by 171%.
Recycled diamonds are diamonds that have been used as jewelry, recut, and resold and have the same value as unrecycled diamonds as long as they are the same size. Pricing also depends on fashion, consumer expectations, and marketing.