Investing in diamonds -- a win-win situation

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Business Today

The most obvious reward from investing in a diamond is the experience of wearing a beautiful gemstone. But let's not forget the importance and security of the stone's increasing value.

On the world diamond market the number of gem-quality diamonds and the supply of rough diamonds is regulated by De Beers in London. The majority of the large diamond-polishing organizations purchase their rough diamonds through De Beers' Central Selling Organization (CSO).

De Beers' dominance is seen world-wide as a guarantee of stability in the diamond market. This is beneficial for all parties, especially the consumer who can be assured that his or her purchase will not only retain, but increase steadily in its value.

De Beers' CSO restricts the quantities of diamonds available for cutting and sale in times on recession, ensuring that the stones maintain their value on the world market.

When the demand for diamonds increases, the CSO increases not only the quantity available, but also increases the prices.

"Over the years, De Beers has spent a great deal of attention on advertising worldwide," said Jayne Ervin, a Cape Girardeau jeweler. "Their goal is to educate the consumers on current -- yet classic -- jewelry designs available for specific occasions.

"They introduced the three-stone diamond jewelry design, which represents the past, present and future of relationships."

Diamond is a natural raw material sold in U.S. dollars. Their price can fluctuate considerably due to the exchange rate, despite regulation by De Beers. As with any investment, success depends on the time of purchase and the market situation.

According to Ervin, her company, Jayson Jewelers, over the past seven years has established a close working relationship De Beers sight holders in Antwerp, Belgium, and South Africa.

"We have been able to purchase these beautiful gemstones directly from the source at competitive pricing," said Ervin.

Historically, diamonds were first mined in India over 4,000 years ago with the modern industry commencing with discoveries in South Africa in the late 19th century.

They are mined in about 25 countries with the main producers (accounting for about 80 percent of the world's supply of rough diamonds) being Botswana, Russia, South Africa, Angola, Namibia, Australia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Canada.

About 250 tons of ore must be mined and processed to produce a single one-carat polished, gem-quality diamond. The world's leading diamond cutting centers are in Antwerp, Tel Aviv, Bombay and New York.

Each individual diamond is unique in nature. Every cut and polished diamond reflects the intricate work of a skilled master craftsman.

Many people are confused about how diamonds are priced. The best explanation is that asking for the price of a diamond is like asking for the price of a house. A real estate agent can't quote you a price for a house without knowing its size, condition, location, etc. This process is the same one used when buying a diamond. A diamond's beauty, rarity and price depend on the interplay of all the four C's -- cut, clarity, carat and color.

The four C's are used throughout the world to classify the rarity of diamonds. Diamonds with the combination of the highest four-C ratings are more rare and, consequently, more expensive. No one C is more important than another in terms of beauty and it is important to note that each of the four C's will not diminish in value over time.

"The four C's are a guideline for customers to understand the rarity and value of diamonds," said Ervin. "Understanding the four C's is very important on any diamond purchase, and aids in understanding diamond prices."

Diamonds can be found in a range of prices, and you're certain to find one that suits your taste and what you plan to spend. It's up to you to settle on a diamond that will represent your deepest emotions and be a solid monetary investment for the future.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: