The Myth of Diamonds
The high price attached to diamonds is artificial. In reality, the intrinsic value of all but the rarest of diamonds is extremely low. The entire high-end diamond jewelry industry is an illusion; a fictional product of marketing and unscrupulous market manipulation.
Not only that, virtually every assumption we accept as fact about diamonds is a myth: Diamonds are so treasured because they are extremely scarce—wrong. They are the most expensive type of gemstone—wrong. Diamonds are virtually indestructible—wrong. They are a great investment because their value only goes up—wrong. Diamonds have been used to seal engagements for centuries—wrong
What does make diamonds attractive is their internal molecular structure, which gives them certain unique properties. Diamonds are made of carbon, one of the most plentiful substances on earth. It's the same material as the graphite In pencils and the charcoal that fuels summertime barbecues, It's just that in diamonds, the carbon is arranged in a neat, rigid crystalline structure. This makes it one of the harder materials in existence.
More importantly for the gem industry diamond crystal structure makes it highly transparent and gives it unusual refractory properties. Almost all the light that enters is reflected back, but it’s broken into the cut of the rainbow. It's primarily this unique brilliance that makes diamonds a prized gemstone.
Diamonds are usually cited as the rarest and most valuable of the precious gems, which in popular usage includes diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. Truthfully, however, rubies are scarcer than diamonds, and emeralds are even scarcer yet. Both are far more valuable than a diamond of the equivalent size and quality.
And that doesn't even scratch the surface of other, less-famous gemstones. There are at least 10 varieties that badly outstrip diamonds in terms of rarity and value. Ever heard of red beryl? There is approximately one gem-quality red beryl for every 150,000 diamonds. They can sell for up to $10,000 per carat or 10 times the value of a typical diamond.Until very recently, only a handful of Painite gemstones were known to exist, (Painite is a deep, orange-red or brownish red stone that was found in Myanmar in the 1950s.) and they can sell for an insane $60,000 per carat. That's 60 times the price of a diamond! (To be fair, red diamonds as a subgroup are also exceedingly rare, with only about 35 mostly small stones known to exist. On the rare occasion that one comes up for sale, they can cost $1 million to $2 million per carat.)