Diamonds were formed billions of years ago as a result of intense heat and pressure that caused carbon to crystallize. Volcanic eruptions would then transport these diamonds to the Earth’s surface, where they are still mined and extracted to this day. Diamonds gained popularity in the twentieth century as a result of a successful diamond campaign for engagement rings in the 1930s. This forever altered our perceptions of not only the value of a diamond but also of the concept of engagement rings in general. It is estimated that by 2020, approximately 80% of brides will be wearing a diamond engagement ring. So, if the majority of brides appear to be wearing diamonds, how rare are diamonds after all? The truth is that diamonds are not as rare as De Beers, the campaign’s creator, made them out to be so many years ago.
2020 is the year of diamonds.
So, to answer the question, diamonds are rare. Diamonds are more widely available today than ever before. But why are we taught that diamonds are scarce? In fact, diamonds aren’t even the rarest of gemstones. Rubies, emeralds, and sapphires are rarer than diamonds because they are more difficult to find. Diamonds are easy to come by in 2020. According to a study published by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), an estimated quadrillion tons of rough diamonds lie deep beneath the Earth’s surface. You read that right: 1,000,000,000,000,000. While many of these diamonds are so deep beneath the earth’s surface that they are more difficult to extract, the truth is that there are more than enough “natural” diamonds mined to last for generations. The rate at which they are mined, as well as a little thing known as supply and demand, determine their availability. Today’s diamond marketing tells you — the buyer — that there are only a limited number of diamonds available, which is why they are so expensive. This, however, is not the case.
Myths Concerning Diamonds
One of the most common misconceptions about diamonds is that they are expensive because they are rare. This is not the case, and it is actually a clever marketing strategy. Is it true that diamonds are rare? You may have heard of the De Beers corporation, which once controlled 75-85 percent of the diamond supply. De Beers now controls a much smaller portion of the diamond market, but it is still large enough to have an impact on the price of a precious diamond. By releasing only enough diamonds to satisfy demand, the illusion of a lower supply is created. As a result, diamond prices rise, reinforcing the notion that diamonds are rare and thus expensive.
Why Are Mined Diamonds So Expensive?
Another factor that contributes to diamond prices is the supply chain. To get a mined diamond from deep beneath the earth’s surface to your engagement ring, it must pass through many hands and travel a long distance. The majority of mined diamonds come from remote locations in Siberia, Africa, and Canada. Miners, distributors, cutters, polishers, jewelry manufacturers, and retailers are all needed to transform a raw diamond into a retail-ready gemstone. The amount of resources required to extract a diamond has a significant impact on its price.
The Price of Lab-Grown Diamonds vs. Mined Diamonds
When it comes to cutting, polishing, and inspection, mined diamonds and lab-created diamonds have the same costs. However, are diamonds rare up to that point? The prices and procedures are vastly different. The supply chain for mined diamonds is lengthy, whereas the majority of the supply chain for lab-grown diamonds occurs at the labs. This is why lab-grown diamonds are 20-40% cheaper: fewer hands and resources equal lower prices.
What Factors Influence the Price of a Diamond?
If you’ve started looking for a diamond, you’ve probably noticed that there is a wide price range. While diamonds come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each one must be graded in order to be valued. Diamonds are graded according to the four Cs: cut, clarity, color, and carat. While carat, or the weight of a diamond, may be thought to be the most important factor in determining the price of a diamond, this is also not the case. The cut of a diamond has the greatest impact on its price and should be considered carefully when shopping for a diamond. Diamonds that are well cut have more cut away from them, making them more expensive. Shapes with little cut away from them during the shaping process, on the other hand, are less expensive. A brilliant round is the most expensive cut you can buy, and it is also the most popular diamond shape available today. However, Hearts and Arrows diamonds are the best round cut diamonds you can find, accounting for less than 1% of all diamonds in the world. Because they are rarer than most diamond cuts, they are more expensive.
Is it possible to find lab-created diamonds?
First, we’ll look at how a diamond is created in a laboratory. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) is the most commonly used process for diamonds, and it involves placing a diamond seed in a sealed chamber and heating it to around 800 degrees Celsius. After that, the chamber is filled with a carbon-rich gas that is ionized into plasma. The ionization of the gases breaks the molecular bonds, and pure carbon adheres to the diamond seed and slowly crystallizes. Lab-grown diamonds, like mined diamonds, are created using carbon and pressure. Lab-grown diamonds are chemically, physically, and optically identical to mined diamonds. The difference between the two is in their origins: one comes from the ground, while the other is created in a lab.
The elimination of the mining process is a major reason why lab-grown diamonds are 20-40% less expensive than mined diamonds. However, just like mined diamonds, each lab-grown diamond is one-of-a-kind. There are no two diamonds alike. And, like mined diamonds, lab-grown diamonds are not rare in the way that many diamond companies portray them. A lab-grown diamond takes about 1-2 months to grow. However, unlike mined diamonds, creating a lab-grown diamond requires a highly specialized piece of high-tech machinery. In comparison to mined diamonds, which can simply be dug up from the ground. When it comes to which is more ‘rare’ in terms of accessibility, lab-grown diamonds may just take the cake.