They are the manifestation of glitz. Some refer to them as the tears of the gods and some consider them stardust. No matter how you identify with them, diamonds have captured the imagination of mankind since the very beginning. And the real wonder is that even after all these years, human beings are still dazzled and mesmerized by the enigmatic beauty of these precious stones.
In this article, we will find out what factors make this beloved gem so expensive and how it has been part of the human history for so long, so let’s begin with some relatively less known facts about diamonds.
Not all diamonds are expensive
Very few people are aware of the fact that not all types of diamonds are as expensive as we are taught to believe. Diamonds don’t come out of mines in the shape and texture we are used to seeing in ornaments and jewelry items. In fact, most of the natural diamonds never make it to that beautiful refined state because they come with too many imperfections and defects and consequently, such diamonds are only really suitable for industrial use.
Since the majority of mined diamonds can’t be used in jewelry, we are left with very few grades of diamond that have such quality, the expensive ones that can be used for decorative purposes.
It’s the simple imbalance of supply and demand makes this stone expensive. But that’s not all. There are other characteristics which add to the cost of diamonds.
Color of the Stone
The diamond’s color is one major factor in determining its price. Most of the naturally occurring diamonds contain a noticeable tinge of a yellowish hue. In fact, it is hard to find a stone that is completely colorless; thus, the more colorless a diamond is, the rarer and more valuable it is. Although they may be colorless, the diamonds will appear whiter and brighter to the eye. Therefore these diamonds automatically become more expensive.
When traces of the yellowish hue drop, the demand and price of the diamond increases exponentially. This is more noticeable for diamonds that have other color traces like pink and blue in them. These color traces come from the natural impurities that are present in the internal chemical structure of the stone but are valued highly by diamond lovers.
Clarity of the stone
It is very rare that an original diamond comes without any internal spots and lines within the stone. Now, you can easily deduce how difficult it is to find the stone that has the color shade of your choice and comes with the clarity you want. Once again, demand and supply sets the price of the stone.
Size of the stone
The weight and size of the diamond also affect its price. Diamonds that are larger in size are hard to find naturally and consequently come with an expensive price tag.
Cut of the stone
As we all know, mined diamonds can’t be fitted directly onto jewelry. They have to be polished and cut into a shape that can give optimal balance between size, clarity and color. Getting the perfect cut is a tricky prospect.
There is a tremendous balancing act involved in which the cut has to be made to enhance clarity without reducing the weight of the stone. There is always the chance that the weight and size of a diamond may be compromised while removing some visible imperfections from it.
As a result, a diamond with balanced aspects of clarity, size and shape are hard to find and expensive to buy.
Have diamonds always been so popular and in demand?
Diamonds have not come to the forefront from the renaissance, agricultural or industrial revolution. They have been important since ancient times when the Greeks ruled the world. Even the name ‘diamond’ is said to be derived from the Greek word ‘adamas’, meaning indestructible, because the Greeks associated the radiant and ever-glowing glitter of the diamond to be an indestructible sign of love.
Generally, throughout the course of history and various civilizations, diamonds have always been considered as the sign of supreme power. Many cultural dogmas considered diamonds to contain magical powers that can be used to cure madness and repel evil spirits. Plato, the famous Greek philosopher shared the thought that diamonds were living spirits. Diamond powder, due to its curing abilities, had also been used in medicines.
There are a lot more historical anecdotes that can be mentioned to highlight the fact that the diamond has always been popular. It’s this popularity that makes it so expensive.