DeBeers is known around the world for creating the finest diamond engagement rings, wedding rings for women, prepared or not, for the boxing ring. They are a cartel of companies that dominate the diamond mining and trading industry and must be the Company of choice this Valentine. That’s for wealthy folks now, not you. Sorry.
De Beers has a massive stock of rough diamonds. They systematically released enough diamonds for the demand, while continually adjusting the availability of rough diamonds. This caused escalating prices and increased the perception of rarity. So because of their advertising campaign, people the world over believe diamonds are the most valuable and rarest of the gems.
Funny thing though is that among gems, diamonds are actually the most common and are not rare at all. Gems like Rubies, emeralds, and sapphires are very rare and far more valuable and have always been the gems for engagement rings given to royalty, not diamonds. There’re little known gems that are more valuable even.
The value of gemstones depends on several factors; rarity, quality, setting, and of course, politics.
Let me list just a few.
Tanzanite Found only in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania may be mined out within 20-30 years.
$600-$1,000 per carat
Taaffeite is available in range of hues ranging from nearly colorless to lavender, mauve and violet, it occurs in Sri Lanka and Tanzania. Only a handful of these precious stones have ever been found, making them a true collector’s gem.
Value: $1500-$2500 per carat
Black Opal is also the most valuable gem of its kind. Most available Black Opal comes from the Lightning Ridge mine in New South Wales. It is the rarest type of Opal
Price: over $2300 per carat.
Benitoite. Found near the San Benito River in California. In addition to being the official state gem of California, Benitoite is a coveted collectors’ gem, and is also sold in jewelry, though rarely available in sizes of one carat or more.
Price: $3000-$4000 per carat.
So don’t kid yourself with a diamond ring, its all too common. Lets do something really special this Valentine. To set the pace, I will get my wife a Benitoite ring. In the next life.