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Why Are Diamonds So Expensive?

February 02, 2023

Diamonds are not cheap–these brilliant stones are an investment, but if you find the right ones, whether colourless gems or Kimberley pink diamonds, you have something that will stay beautiful and valuable through several generations. But what makes diamonds so expensive? The answer is a mix of mining expenses, the cost of craftsmanship, high product demand, and an impactful marketing campaign by the De Beers Group.

Before you go choosing between flawless stones or Argyle pink diamond jewellery for sale, here’s everything you need to know about what goes into that price tag.

The De Beers Effect

The De Beers Group is an international corporation that specialises in diamonds, from mining to manufacturing to retail. In the 1800s, the precious stone’s supply grew after the discovery of several mining sites in South Africa. To control this and to maintain the high value of diamonds, the De Beers Group took over the mining industry, purchasing as many sites as they could. This gave them a monopoly over the market and gave them the advantage of dictating the price.

However, this wasn’t enough. They still had to sustain high demand for the product. To do this, the De Beers created a marketing campaign centred on the slogan: “A diamond is forever.” This successfully spread the idea that diamonds are the ultimate symbol of love and marriage, thus popularising the practice of giving a diamond engagement ring to one’s fiancée, and effectively maintaining demand for the stone, despite the expensive price tag.

Why Diamonds Are Expensive

Though a large part of the costliness of diamonds can be attributed to the De Beers Group, other factors affect its prices, such as mining, crafting, and grading expenses.

Cost of Mining

How rare must diamonds be to command such a high price point? The truth is that diamonds aren’t as rare as you think, but what there’s low supply and high demand for are jewellery-grade diamonds—and these can only be found in around fifty places all over the world.

It’s very expensive to operate these mines, especially because some of them are in hard-to-reach places. So, you’re not just thinking about the cost of the equipment and the process, but the expense of hiring workers and keeping them there.

Additionally, it takes a lot to find a single-carat diamond. Even in the most productive mines, workers can go through hundreds of tons of rock just to find a commercial-grade stone—and even more to harvest it without damaging or polishing it away.

The Price of Craftsmanship

Sorting, evaluating, and manufacturing diamonds for jewellery requires real expertise; it’s essential to have it done by experts and artisans to ensure that the stone is extracted, cut, and polished correctly, or else the diamond may be damaged or lost forever. The cost of the work of these craftsmen—who can spend hours, or even weeks, on each diamond—adds up.

Grading Expenses

Diamond grading refers to the practice of measuring a diamond’s value based on several characteristics, particularly the four Cs: clarity, cut, colour, and carat (weight). This has to be done by an expert jeweller, which adds to the financing of the stone.

Grading is essential for diamonds because it differentiates each stone from a competitive market. No diamond is exactly the same (nor completely pure), and a diamond grading certificate shows the unique manifestations in each gem that can define how much it’s worth.

High Demand

Thanks to the De Beers, today’s generations have grown up with the thought of diamond engagement rings as symbols for marriage ingrained in their minds. Because of this, there will always be a demand for the stone. But with fewer mines producing yields each year, the supply is dwindling, and now it’s just basic economics–diamonds are expensive because supply is low while demand is high.

How to Choose the Best Diamonds

With the price of diamonds, you’ll want to make sure that you’re going home with the best stone. To determine the quality of the gem, you’ll have to consider the four Cs. The most valuable diamonds are flawless, colourless, sparkly, and heavy—though these are typically the most costly, as well. Think about your budget and find one that best fits these criteria at a price point you’re willing to spend.

Only the Best at Holloway Diamonds

Holloway Diamonds offers only the best diamonds. Each stone is hand-picked and evaluated by our expert jewellers to give you high-quality jewellery that’s beautiful, timeless, and valuable. Find your next piece from Holloway Diamonds today!

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