Saturday, June 21, 2008

Diamonds may not be forever.

In a post, two years back, I had linked to the e-book titled Diamond Invention that reported on the illusion created about the scarcity of diamond, to prop up the prices artificially.

A recent article in The Smithsonian says:

Natural diamonds aren't particularly rare. In 2006, more than 75,000 pounds were produced worldwide. A diamond is a precious commodity because everyone thinks it's a precious commodity, the geological equivalent of a bouquet of red roses, elegant and alluring, a symbol of romance, but ultimately pretty ordinary……diamonds are simply crystallized pure carbon, just as rock candy is crystallized sugar—an ordered array of atoms or molecules.

Credit for the modern cult of the diamond goes primarily to South Africa-based De Beers, the world's largest diamond producer. Before the 1940s, diamond rings were rarely given as engagement gifts. But De Beers' marketing campaigns established the idea that the gems are the supreme token of love and affection. Their "A Diamond Is Forever" slogan, first deployed in 1948, is considered one of the most successful advertising campaigns of all time. Through a near total control of supply, De Beers held almost complete power over the diamond market for decades, carefully hoarding the gemstones to keep prices—and profits—high
.

The article reports that lab-grown gemstones are now available, that are indistinguishable from natural diamonds and this could trigger the beginning of the end of the high-price era. True, artificially diamonds are not exactly cheap today, but once the development costs are amortised, the price is bound to come down.

“A diamond for everyone” could be the new marketing slogan.

3 comments:

Ottayan said...

Diamond for everyone?

Will it still be a girls best friend?

Jess said...

It can't get any better than this.

Jess said...

It can't get any better than this.