We have all have some basic ideas about what diamonds are, where they come from, their value, and what they look like. Some may even understand the intricacies of the 4-C’s of color, cut, clarity and carat weight. The reality of diamonds however, may be a bit different than what we understand them to be. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the Top Ten Misconceptions about Diamonds.
- All Diamonds are Beautiful Gemstones. Are you ready for this? A full 80% of all the diamonds mined are unusable as gemstones. These diamonds are considered “industrial grade” and are used for cutting blades and other purposes. Because they have such a high degree of conductivity, they are used in electronic devices. These diamonds are far from precious or beautiful.
- All Diamonds Come From Africa. The reality is that less than half of all diamonds mined now come from Africa. Major diamond producing countries include The Soviet Union, Canada, and Australia. This myth is comes from the fact that diamond conglomerate DeBeers controlled many of the early mines in Africa. The industry has since expanded to other countries.
- Diamonds Have Always Been “Forever”. Sorry, the advertising slogan “A Diamond is Forever” wasn’t created until 1947. The diamond cartel DeBeers, was formed in the late 1800’s. The fact is until DeBeers took control over the diamond mines in Africa, diamonds weren’t considered very special.
- Diamonds Have Always Been Popular for Engagement Rings. Prior to the 20th Century, rubies and sapphires were by far more popular for use in engagement rings. Diamonds were brilliantly marketed in the 1900’s to position them as the gemstone of choice.
- Diamonds Are Clear.Industrial grade diamonds are far from clear, but interestingly enough, some of the most valuable diamonds have been blue, pink and red.
- Diamonds Are Rare. Diamonds are actually one of the more available gemstones in the Earth. DeBeers however, has done a masterful job at creating the illusion of rarity. Almost every woman has at least one diamond. By comparison, not many have sapphires or amethysts. Of course large, flawless diamonds are rare.
- Diamonds are the Most Expensive Gemstones – This is another misperception. Generally rarity determines value, and because diamonds are relatively common, many of average quality are out-priced on a per carat basis by superior rubies, emeralds, and sapphires.
- Diamonds are a Good Investment. While extremely rare, large, colored or historically significant diamonds will increase in value, your mother’s engagement ring will likely not. At least not monetarily.
- You Should Buy a Diamond According to the 4-C’s – The 4-C’s were created to help you compare diamonds. You should by a diamond that is beautiful to you and one that is within your budget. (But still use the 4 C’s to educate yourself before shopping.)
I Should Spend “X” Times my Monthly Income on a Diamond Engagement Ring – The multiple of income gauge is another DeBeers invention. There is no sense starting a marriage struggling to make payments on jewelry designed to serve as a symbol of your love. The reality is, do what feels right and buy what you feel you can afford.