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Diamonds: Controversy and What Makes Them So Expensive

1707 words (7 pages) Essay in Retail

08/02/20 Retail Reference this

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Diamonds are some of the world’s most precious objects, and nowadays, they are extremely valuable and esteemed. The first diamond ever discovered was twenty-one carats and in Africa. This would be about 100,000 dollars today. Diamonds are everywhere from engagement rings to furniture. Because of their rarity, they have extremely raised in price. People want to look fancy and proper, and diamonds bring that sense of style to them. From fifty to one million dollars, different types of diamonds can be purchased and are worn from people all around the world. However, because of this popularity and versatility, controversy surrounds diamonds. People want to make sure their diamonds come from ethical origins. Although they are beautiful, maybe the things done to get the diamonds aren’t worth it.

Diamonds are very rare and hard to find in the world. Although there are many places where diamonds are, it is hard to reach them with the current tools we have today. (daily.jstor.org). The world really fell in love with diamonds when they became popular in India. “The world’s love of diamonds had its start in India, where diamonds were gathered from the country’s rivers and streams. Some historians estimate that India was trading in diamonds as early as the fourth century BC. The country’s resources yielded limited quantities for an equally limited market: India’s very wealthy classes. Gradually, though, this changed. Indian diamonds found their way, along with other exotic merchandise, to Western Europe in the caravans that traveled to Venice’s medieval markets. By the 1400s, diamonds were becoming fashionable accessories for Europe’s elite.” (www.gia.edu). Once the diamonds spread west, they took the whole world by storm. Everybody was buying diamonds and wearing them. This was truly the beginning of the world’s love for diamonds.

 Many people think there is just one type, however there are many different cuts, clarities, and qualities for varies different diamonds. (www.diamondere.com). The best type of diamond is considered flawless or F diamonds. They are nearly perfect with an amazing cut, and they are extremely clear and pure. Next, although not the best, VVS diamonds are still some of the best and sought after types of diamonds. VVS stands for very very slightly. Many rappers and people in the music industry wear chains and jewelry made from VVS diamonds because of their extreme shine and sparkle. Although there are many nice types, there are also many affordable diamonds. The cheapest is Cubic Zirconia or CZ diamonds. Many kids wear CZ diamonds because they cannot afford regular diamonds. The CZ diamonds look exactly like VVS diamonds, which is why many are drawn towards them. (Folger 1). Whether it is flawless or cubic zirconia, many different types of diamonds are out there, and more will be found in the future.

 Because of their beauty and clarity, diamonds have also become a tradition and symbol for marriage and proposals. (www.americangemsociety.org). They are most commonly used in engagement rings. Everybody knows the way a man gets down on one knee and proposes to his partner. However, it is not well known where and how it started. It all started in 1477 when a man had the idea to propose to his girlfriend with a diamond ring. After that, this ring sparked the new trend that is still around today. Then later on, people started to add new gems and other things to the diamond rings making them shinier or brighter. Today, the shine or purity of the diamond is supposed to represent a man’s dedication or love to his partner. Finally, in 1947, a diamond company ran by a man named De Beers launched the slogan “A diamond is forever”, and afterwards, diamonds ring sales increased by 50%. (www.americangemsociety.org). Today, so many different types of rings and cuts are used during proposals. The most popular cut if diamond is “round brilliant”. Each ring is special to whomever receives, and this tradition has been strong and around for many years and will continue to carry on.

 It is well known what a diamond looks like, however most people do not know what is actually inside of a diamond. Diamonds are made up of pure carbon which makes them some of the hardest things in the world. (daily.jstor.org). There are covalent bonds inside of the carbon atoms which make them extremely close and compact. Diamonds are formed in the mantle of the Earth, and they are most commonly found in caves or other places below the ground. However, later on, sometimes they get brought to the surface by plumes of indigenous rock. Because of these conditions, diamonds are very hard to mine, which adds to their price and value. (www.gia.edu). This is one of the reasons why diamonds are so expensive. Not only are they rare and scarce, but even when found, it is very hard to get them.

 Although they are beautiful and look amazing, many people nowadays question and protest diamonds origins as unethical. (www.nytimes.com). Honestly nowadays, people have no idea where their diamonds are coming from, and that is a problem. They are most likely coming from big diamond hubs such as South Africa, but you can never know for sure. For example, companies such as Tiffany’s are trying to find and express the origin of all their diamonds by 2020. Before, people didn’t care about where they came from, but it is essential to know now. According to Thomai Serdari in the New York Times  “A lot of diamond companies are still very opaque about their operations. There haven’t been any particular strict guidelines to ensure that a diamond is truly coming from the area a dealer is claiming it’s coming from. “This is a huge problem for people. A company can say where the diamond is coming from, but it can actually be from someplace completely different” (Serdari 2). However it is not only the location, people also have no idea how people are obtaining the diamonds. Some diamonds, even today, are coming from slave labour and children working in mines. Because of this, controversy has uprooted and is changing people’s minds about diamonds. Many do not want to have diamonds because they do not want them if they were obtaining by slaves or children.

Because of these unethical origins, scientists are making and people are buying lab created diamonds. (www.npr.org) The global market and value for diamonds is currently at 80 billion dollars. It is a huge industry. Therefore, there is a new type of diamond that is grown in a lab and looks almost exactly like a regular one. These diamonds are called Cubic Zirconia diamonds (CZ). Some experts even say it is more perfect than regular diamonds. These new diamonds are flawless and do not require much human attention at all. Like most things that are created by machines, these diamonds can be mass produced. (Herships 1). On the other hand, when people are mining and looking for real diamonds, it can be very troublesome. They are scarce and hard to find in the first place. Also, because of their rarity, the prices of these diamonds are extremely. However nowadays, people do not want to pay very high prices for their jewelry and diamonds. People want to look like they are wearing real diamonds, without paying for the price of rea diamonds. That is why Cubic Zirconia diamonds are perfect. They do not harm anybody, and many people are slowly starting to move towards these diamonds.

Overall, diamonds are the world’s most esteemed and valuable gems. There are so many different kinds, and so many different uses for each diamond. It is an extremely durable gem that still looks amazing. They are mostly worn as jewelry, but can be used in other ways. They have becomes so popular that scientists and manufactures are making their own diamonds. Because of this, diamonds are so easily accessible and have become very mainstream. They only raise in value, and can be worn by anybody: making them some of the best stones in the world.

Works Cited

  1. “The History of the Diamond as an Engagement Ring.” The History of Diamond Engagement Rings – American Gem Society, www.americangemsociety.org/page/diamondasengagement.Z z xz
  2. “Should I Buy a VVS Diamond? 6 Pros & Cons.” International Gem Society, www.gemsociety.org/article/vvs-diamond-guide/.
  3. “Diamond Guide | Diamond Types, Cuts and Quality.” Diamondere, www.diamondere.com/d/information/diamond-guide.
  4. MacDonald, James. “The Secret of Diamonds.” JSTOR, daily.jstor.org/the-secrets-of-diamonds/ 
  5. “Understanding diamond prices using unconditional quantile regressions” Hal Archives, https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00853384/document
  6. Herships, Sally, and Cardiff Garcia. “Saying ‘I Do’ To Lab-Grown Diamonds.” NPR, NPR, 14 Mar. 2019, www.npr.org/sections/money/2019/03/14/703494470/saying-i-do-to-lab-grown-diamonds.
  7. Hsu, Tiffany. “You Know Your Diamond’s Cut and Carat. But Does It Have Ethical Origins?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 9 Jan. 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/01/08/business/diamonds-origin-tiffany-consumers.html?rref=collection/timestopic/Diamonds&action=click&contentCollection=timestopics®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=collection.
  8. “Diamond History and Lore.” Gemological Institute Of America, www.gia.edu/diamond-history-lore.
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