“A diamond is forever, a diamond will last forever.” I don’t know since when, expensive diamonds have been regarded as a symbol of steadfast love and have gradually become a necessity for marriage. But have you ever wondered how these ideas come about? How much do you know about diamonds?
Are diamonds really that rare?
As the saying goes, “Things that are rare are more valuable,” so many people think that the high price of diamonds is due to their rarity and preciousness. Is this really the case? It turns out that diamonds are one of the most indispensable things in the world.
600 years ago, diamonds were first discovered in the rivers of India and the jungles of Brazil. Because their origin and output were fixed and scarce, they were expensive. For a long time, they were only exclusive items for the royal family and nobles, with only one purpose: to show off their wealth.
This situation changed in 1870, when a huge diamond mine measured in tons was discovered in South Africa. In the 1980s, the former Soviet Union discovered a diamond mine larger than that of South Africa. Based on the reserves of this diamond mine, each of the 7 billion people in the world can obtain an average of 143 carats. If a 1-carat loose diamond is only calculated at 20,000, The total market value of this super-large diamond mine is US$3.174 trillion. In 2015, the total global GDP was only 74 trillion US dollars, which means that this super-large diamond mine is equivalent to 43 times the total economic output of the earth.
Not only that, diamond resources have been mined in more than 30 countries around the world, and their reserves are enough for human use for more than 8,000 years. But even so, why do diamonds keep rising? In the final analysis, it is not the invisible hand of the market that controls diamond prices, but the visible hand of De Beers.
How does De Beers manipulate diamond prices?
The discovery of huge diamond mines in South Africa has made all diamond investors panic. If these diamonds enter the market, the value of diamonds is likely to drop by more than half. At this time, Cecil Rhodes, a diamond investor, founded De Beers in 1888.
De Beers bought the entire diamond mine discovered in South Africa, monopolized 90% of the diamond market, strictly controlled output, artificially created an illusion of scarcity of diamonds, and stabilized the value of diamonds. By the mid-20th century, artificial diamond technology emerged, which not only has the same composition as natural diamonds, but also has stronger hardness and higher clarity. De Beers also bought the patent for artificial diamond technology at that time, monopolizing the source of diamonds and controlling transaction prices.
Despite this caution, European diamond prices collapsed in the 1930s. After 1938, De Beers spent huge amounts of money on advertising and began to create the so-called diamond culture, claiming that hard diamonds symbolized loyal love and constantly strengthening the connection between diamonds and beautiful love. After decades of crazy bombardment by newspapers, magazines, radio and television, it must be said that this global cultural brainwashing is very successful. “A diamond is forever, a diamond will last forever.” This slogan completely ushered in the era of “no diamond ring, no marriage”.
At the same time, De Beers also reached the pinnacle of research on female psychology. Women are ambivalent about luxury goods such as diamonds. On the one hand, they have a natural possessive desire for luxury goods, but on the other hand, they believe that actively asking for them will bring a sense of guilt. Therefore, in the 1980s, De Beers began to emphasize that diamonds should be combined with surprises. Men quietly bought diamond rings and gave them as surprises on specific occasions, which resolved women’s ambivalence to the greatest extent.
Are diamonds valuable?
The only element of diamonds is carbon, which is the most indispensable element in the world. As jewelry, its biggest feature is its beauty. Diamonds neither represent love nor social status, and they have no practical value. The reason why diamonds have been held to such a high status is entirely artificial hype, which only continues to cater to people’s excessive pursuit of greed and glitz.
Although due to its extremely high hardness, diamond, the original form of diamond, is also used in industry. However, most of the diamonds used in industrial applications are artificial diamonds, which are much cheaper than natural diamonds. The artificial diamond raw materials produced in my country account for about 90% of the world’s raw materials.
Moreover, it is particularly difficult to monetize diamonds, and it is impossible for real investment-grade diamonds to appear in ordinary people’s jewelry. Since most people buy diamond rings for wedding purposes, people generally tend to buy new jewelry rather than second-hand jewelry. In addition to going to auction houses, the price of diamonds will be greatly reduced when they are liquidated in other ways, and only diamonds of more than 2 carats have the possibility of appreciation, and diamond rings of less than 1 carat do not even have a chance to be auctioned.