You might look at a diamond ring in your possession and wonder to yourself “how can the small diamond in this ring be worth more than all of the gold there?” Diamonds are renowned for their inherent value as a jewel, given rise to phrases like “diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” In our culture, and in past and ancient cultures, the diamond has held a special significance as something of extremely high worth.
Simply look at how record sales are measured. There is the “gold” record – a hit, no doubt, but not the highest hit possible. There is the platinum record, which is when a record sells an even higher quantity, becoming a true success. And, of those hits, there are the mega-hits: the diamond records. Like diamonds, these records, too, are rare.
So why are diamonds worth so much, and subsequently diamond jewelry worth so much? Isn’t it just as good as gold, silver, pearls, or anything else we use to decorate ourselves? Well, not so fast: diamonds have some pretty unique and special properties that put it above most other precious metals and minerals. Here is a quick guide that helps explain why diamond jewelry is worth so much.
The Diamond’s Properties
First, diamonds have innate values simply by being diamonds. What are these values and why does it make diamonds so unique? We’ll have to look at the properties of diamonds – their hardness, color, and rarity – to find out.
The hardness of a diamond
While the hardness of diamonds may seem like an arbitrary property, consider the fact that no natural minerals can scratch them – except other diamonds. This already says a lot about the usefulness of diamonds in jewelry, as they can be encased with gold, silver, or platinum, and maintain their integrity for years to come. As durability increases, so does value.
Diamonds are so hard that on the Mohs scale of hardness, they rate a “10,” which is the hardest possible.
Keep in mind other practical uses for hardness. Diamonds can be used to dig through rock, as well as polish other extremely hard metals and minerals. Because diamonds are the only natural minerals that can do this, they increase in value that much more.
Color and appearance
Diamonds come in a variety of colors because of different chemicals involved, but “chemically pure” diamonds are translucent, or colorless, in nature. Other colors of diamonds exist, including blue and yellow diamonds, usually because of the presence of some other sort of element within the diamond. Pure diamonds are made only from carbon.
The Rarity of Diamonds
Approximately 80% of diamonds mined are not even suited for jewelry, but rather for industrial use, making the jewelry form of diamonds even more rare.
In terms of rarity itself, diamond is a very rare commodity which only forms under certain conditions. Diamond mines are typically found in central and southern Africa, in Russia, eastern Australia, and in eastern North America, such as in Canada.
Consider, as well, the energy that goes into making a diamond what it is: diamonds are not found in their near-flawless, cut form that you find it on your diamond ring. Rather, diamonds are found in a much more rough condition and have to be found, inspected, cut, and polished in order to gain the shiny tint it enjoys while sitting on your diamond ring.
Diamonds are rare by themselves, but viable, large diamonds that can be made into a diamond on a diamond ring are even more rare, as other diamonds simply aren’t viable or large enough to be made into jewelry.
Consider that some hundred tons of ore has to be mined and sifted through in order to produce a one-carat diamond of gem quality, and you have an idea of both the rarity of beautiful diamonds, as well as the difficulty of extracting them from the earth. This, coupled with the other features of diamonds, pushes the price on diamonds up drastically.
Looking at the diamond in your possession now, you may actually want to consider that your diamond is actually a rarity even among other diamonds. Few diamonds have enough quality to be put into gems like yours – let alone the uniqueness of the diamonds themselves. This should give you a larger, broader perspective on the rarity and true value of diamonds as a precious stone, as well as one of our finest types of jewelry. Many precious metal brokers are willing to work with you and your precious metals found in your jewelry in order to secure a fair payment for your unwanted or broken articles.