Sunday, 9 June 2013
Are diamonds a huge ripoff?
No one knows how long diamonds have been treasured, or who discovered them, but the earliest recording of them is about 3000 years ago in India.
There, diamonds were valued for two purposes. Warding off evil, which everyone knows diamonds are best put to use, and the reason that causes many a marriage to start off broke, decoration.
Then in the most productive era of humanity, the dark ages, they found a wonderful new use for the beloved diamond. Someone up and decided (because there's no proof) that holding a diamond while making a sign of the cross would cure all your maladies! I'm guessing this sucked for the peasants, because how would they get diamonds?
It was finally in the middle ages, when diamonds really became valuable! Thus started the massive diamond industry.
So why are diamonds a huge ripoff you ask?
Well firstly, about 26,000 kg of diamonds are mined annually, roughly half of it comes from Central and Southern Africa.
That's a LOT of diamonds. A lot more than is actually sold annually.
So, why would you mine that amount of diamonds if you don't want to sell it?
Well that's exactly why diamonds are so 'precious'.
An artificial demand is created by the suppliers by keeping the majority of mined diamonds vaulted, under lock and key, only a small percentage made available to the public.
Diamonds are far from being rare, gold is a lot rarer, about 2500 tonnes per year mined, that's roughly an olympic sized swimming pool full of gold, much less than the amount of diamonds mined.
There's no finite supply of diamonds. The most popular theory is that natural diamonds are formed in the earth's mantle, at high pressures and temperatures inflicted upon the carbon existing there. It's then supposedly delivered by volcanoes to the surface. Geology enthusiasts can click this link to learn more.
So wait, there's diamonds being formed this very moment? Hundreds of kilometres beneath my feet? Damn right there is. Earth isn't running out of diamonds any time soon.
Precious metals on the other hand, well..when all the gold and silver and platinum are done, they're done. We can't make those. At least not yet.
Which brings us to the next reason we shouldn't be paying an arm, a leg and half your soul for an extra shiny piece of glass.
Synthetic diamonds are now widely manufactured! In the late 1900s, the only available man made alternatives was Cubic Zirconia and Moissanite. However we now have man made diamonds that are certified as being diamonds, from a compositional perspective.
At about 30% cheaper than natural diamonds, that fulfills the industrial need for diamonds, and removes the industrial demand for natural diamonds. For more on man made diamonds, you can click here.
However, diamond companies know that the jewelry industry still thrives off the weakness in the hearts of women everywhere.
No man made diamond can replace the lure of a sparkling beauty, that was created over millions of years, just asking to be worn.
Not to mention, diamonds are a horrible investment. Diamonds cannot be sold for more than they are bought, simply because, unless it's the Hope Diamond you're trying to pawn off, no jeweler is going to pay more for a diamond from you when he can get it for the wholesale price from the supplier.
Knowing now the huge scam the diamond industry is, all the men reading this are still going to buy diamonds for that precious moment, and the women are still going to be smiling ear to ear when they see that little jewelry box.
So why did I write this article? Beats me...