Why are diamonds so expensive?

Raw diamonds

Diamonds are expensive because they are extremely rare, in fact only 20% of diamonds are suitable for jewellery.

Diamonds were made trillions of years ago 160 km below the earth’s surface, where the element coal was exposed to high temperature and high pressure for many, many years. Slowly, the carbon substance was transformed into diamonds.

Where are diamonds from?

If at the same time there was the element boron, the diamonds turned blue. The more boron, the bluer they became. If there was nitrogen, the diamonds turned yellow.

It is said that the youngest diamonds were formed 100 million years ago. And they have been lying in the ground for millions of years. They are shot up to the surface of the earth by gas explosions, a bit like when you pop a champagne bottle, and they are found in the type of soil called Kimberlite in an oblong shape, a bit like a carrot.

You would think that there were diamonds laying all around, I wish there was. But sometimes the diamonds were shot up in a mountain, in an ocean, in a desert and the facts are that there are 6,000 kimberlite deposits in the world and only 1,000 of them are diamond-bearing. Out of the 1,000, only 50 have enough diamonds to start a diamond mine. And today only 20 of these are still mined.

Diamond mining is a very costly industry. You have to move 200-250 tons of soil to find 1 carat diamond and the diamonds found are on average 0.1 carat. In other words, very small, especially when you consider that they also have to be cut into a e.g., brilliant shape.

Here’s a picture of the largest diamond mine in the world Argyle in Australia. It closed last year because it had become too expensive to keep mining.

It goes without saying that it is very costly and difficult to mine diamonds, and especially when only 20% of the mined diamonds are suitable for jewellery. The rest are used in the industry, e.g., for dental drills or in the grinding plates we use to cut and polish diamonds.

Raw diamonds

Raw diamonds

Once the diamonds have been excavated, they are sorted and 80% is sent to Antwerp where they are sold on the diamond exchange called “diamondbourse”. From there they are sent to either India, Russia or China, to be cut and polished and then sent back to Antwerp where they are sold as polished diamonds

Large diamond

It’s easy to understand that diamonds are expensive. There are incredibly scarce, and demand is rising as more people choose to invest in diamonds to expand their investment portfolio.

Diamonds are also perfect, they last forever. The only thing that can ruin a diamond is another diamond. Diamonds are the perfect gift and can be passed over from generation to generation.

I just LOVE diamonds.

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Investing in Diamonds

During the past years, the use of diamonds as an investment and financial hedging tool has grown rapidly.

The reason is obvious: Diamond prices are always increasing. In the last 10-15 years, there’s been a huge interest in investing in colored diamonds, making prices for pink and blue diamonds rise by 400 %.

Read more about Investing in Diamonds

Diamond expert Trine Lamm

Diamond Dealer Services

Born in Denmark, I work in Antwerp in Belgium – the centre of diamond trade in the word. From here, I find and select premium diamonds and gemstones to create custom-made jewelry for clients all over the globe. I love the idea of customized jewelry as I want to help you make exactly the piece of jewelry you desire. Read more about Diamond Dealer Services