Why diamonds are the biggest scam: 200 shocking truths

Jewelry is a woman’s favorites’. If you don’t want to bang your head with what to gift your woman; just buy her a diamond ring. She would definitely be happy (whether or not she likes the design but she will definitely appreciate the efforts and the feel that you have spent such a huge amount on her).

Now, there is some huge amount of money you put in while buying diamond jewelry. 

And while you are spending such a lump sum amount, you should ask yourself whether this diamond piece is such a worth that you should spend your 2-3 months’ salary (or in some cases, a major chunk of the savings)?

When you enter a jewelry store or see any advertisement of diamond jewelry, those sparking shiny diamonds are bound to catch your attention (especially if you are a woman). No matter how logically and rationally you think; you feel like owning, wearing and flaunting them in the first instance.

But, with the kind of price tag hanging to them, you sometimes feel like asking yourself should I buy this piece- it will be sort of investment also.

Diamond is a rare luxurious jewelry- is this true?

Before 1870, diamonds were rarely found and were a precious gemstone. However, with the discovery of vast amounts of diamonds in South African mines, the diamond industry started wondering what would happen to the demand and supply gap?

Since, the supply is in abundance now, whether it would be considered as rare now? Would the price remain the same or will it go down drastically?

Thus, the diamond industry thought of strategies to create artificial shortage of diamonds in the world. The first step was that the diamond company- De Beers took rights for all the diamond mining in South Africa. Once it was done, the second step was to reach out to people worldwide and create the demand for diamond. In 1938, De Beers started a huge massive advertising campaign for diamond by way of hoardings and lectures in high schools (where the target generation was teenagers) connecting diamond to sign of love, romance and gift for your charming one. The De Beers spent millions of money making people believe that they needed to buy a product which they advertised as a rare commodity.

It was the time of World Wars and people were spending only on bare essentials. Thus, the diamond became an extravagance.  

Meanwhile, they signed Hollywood stars and asked them to wear diamonds on and off cameras which really helped in building their brand and further helped in establishing the market for diamond. Wearing diamond became associated with rarity, prosperity, class, exquisite wealth and the joy while wearing them.

And, thus began perhaps the most brilliant marketing campaign in the world- “Diamonds are forever”. It soon touched that emotional chord in the people and became a sign of social acceptance and status attached to love and marriage.

That campaign endured for more than 70 years, and was the masterstroke played by the marketing team of the company. This tagline still reverberates in the mind of the people and is synonymous to wearing diamonds.

They also came up with the idea of 'surprise engagement ring' and thus, it became desire of every woman to wear diamond ring as a token of engagement. You would be surprised to know that wearing engagement ring has absolutely not part of the wedding tradition around the world till say hundred years back.

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Diamonds are for investment- another fake notion

Wearing diamond jewelry represents class and exquisite wealth. One purchase diamonds for its visual appeal and aesthetic qualities. However, as expensive as it may be, if you are thinking of buying diamonds as an investment option, we would suggest that it might not be such a great choice.

The diamond sellers have made a cartel and syndicated and have advertised so much that the general public has started to believe that they do make good investment option. Also, the price of the diamond is generally in their control rather than driven by the market forces. It is not based on the economic principle- “law of demand and supply gap” which generally decides the price of a commodity in the market.

Since the manufacturing of the diamond can be controlled by the manufacturer to artificially create a demand – supply gap in the consumers’ market; they have the control over the prices of the diamond.

The biggest reason as to why you should not consider diamond as an investment option because it is actually not easy to resell diamond and make a profit.  It has been seen with many diamond jewelers that the mark up price of diamond is twice or thrice its actual value.

They remain interested in selling the diamonds; however simply lack any incentive in purchasing it back since this will show how big the difference they have created in buying and purchasing price and the notion that the value of the diamond is appreciating will also break.

Sometimes, you hear from people that the value of the diamond has appreciated and the value of the diamond jewelry which they purchased 5 years back has appreciated by let’s say 40 percent.

Now, if you will look into this calculation you might say that this is a good investment decision.  However, the customer who is saying that is just looking at the difference between buying price of the diamond now and 5 years back. It is not the resell price which he will get which may or may not have gone by 40 percent.

Generally, selling diamonds used earlier by somebody also becomes difficult since nobody wants to purchase a used diamond.

Even, if you get a seller; the resell price which you will get will no way be comparable to what you paid for. Only if you have bought diamond jewelry from high end global retailers like Harry Winston, Tiffany etc. and have kept the jewelry box intact, you may get some good price but again, it would be lesser than what you would have paid for that jewelry.

The exception to this is if you have a large, famous diamond- then you would be able to make money while reselling it; however the cost of owning that diamond runs in millions of dollars and are generally possessed by extremely wealthy.

Diamonds are not for investment can also be validated by the fact that you won’t find companies luring you to invest in diamond promising for a better return in the future unlike other jewelries/precious metals like gold, silver etc. where there are hordes of companies asking you to invest in them.

Not a wise financial decision

Getting a diamond engagement ring most probably a solitaire, might be a great idea for your would be spouse and she might be looking so excitedly for it. But think about it. You will be spending 2 month's (or may be more!) salary on buying a jewelry piece which is a luxury item, not something which will give you any good returns in the future when you need at the time of crisis.

You are starting a new life together and there are many other financial decisions to be made like buying or renting a home. Sooner or later, you will start planning your family and then you would need to save for the child’s upbringing and education. The expenses will keep growing.  Thus, saving that money on the diamond engagement ring might help you in future.

And, you both the partners are entering into marriage- a bond which signifies love, togetherness and being supportive of each other. Lady, do you actually want your man to spend such a huge amount to show that he truly loves you? Man, do you actually need to spend such a huge amount to prove your manhood? The success of your marriage is entirely dependent on both you guys.  An expensive diamond ring doesn’t pave the way for it; you both need to work out your marriage together.

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Gemological Institute of America grading reports might be a fraud

When it comes to diamond; grading is the parameter through which the quality of a diamond is determined. Grading basically checks 4 Cs associated with a diamond: Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat weight. Better the grading of the diamond piece; higher is the value of that diamond.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is one of several organizations that grade and measure physical parameters of diamond and you can go for grading of the diamond. They provide you a GIA Diamond Grading Report which gives a full assessment of the 4Cs along with other parameters associated to it. The high end diamond retailers and the branded diamond companies generally use GIA reports to certify diamonds which are being sold by them. Grading of the diamond is done at other laboratories as well in the world. However; GIA grading report is considered to be the best in the industry since they adhere to strict standards in terms of assessing a diamond and subsequently; giving the grading.

Consumers generally demand for a certified diamond piece however, there are consumers who are okay with not getting a grading report. So, it is quite possible that if you are not demanding for a certified gemstone, you are likely to be sold an inferior quality diamond than the price you paid for and in worst case, a fake diamond also.

But, what is the validity of these reports? As a layman, I don’t understand how rare a diamond is and what should be its price. I just look at its aesthetic value and its appeal to the eyes.

It was reported in 2015 that GIA had invalidated more than 1,000 diamond grading reports from one of its labs in India. Why so? Because, an illegal party had access to the GIA lab and the grading parameters and thus, they produced/engineered fake reports whereby the value of the diamond was enhanced compared to its original value; thus an inferior quality diamond was being sold at a much higher price.

In 2016, Alibaba- the online wholesale portal- had helped in exposing certain sellers who had sold artificial diamonds (which are produced synthetically in laboratories under controlled environmental conditions) in place of natural diamonds. The GIA reports were doctored by those sellers and they attached fraudulent GIA natural-diamond certificates with the diamond piece.

There are various other frauds with GIA reports which have been time and again exposed in the media. So, when you look at the GIA certificate the next time, you might wonder is it an original grading report or a doctored one? You may lose your trust on that report and subsequently the diamond piece as well.

Diamonds are natural and unique- another fake notion

The popularity of the diamond has become huge in the recent past, says 100 years and is increasing only. It is a gemstone and is naturally available. However, in controlled atmosphere in laboratories, this sparkling gemstone can be artificially prepared as well. a diamond’s value is highly subjective and depends on things like cut and clarity and requires a jeweler to tell you.

The synthetically manufactured diamonds look similar to natural mined diamonds and thus, it is very difficult to judge whether the diamond you are holding in your hand is manmade or naturally mined from the environment. 

Also, it has become very cheap these days to produce the diamonds in the laboratories rather than mine them naturally. The technology has become so advanced that you can get diamond of your choice based on the 4Cs. And since it is graded on 4Cs where the knowledge of a general layman is weak, it becomes very difficult to assess the value of the diamond both at the time of purchasing and reselling it.

So, the diamond which you are wearing today, is it truly unique or there are hundreds and thousands of it being worn by others in the world. It is like wearing that same piece of clothing (an expensive one) which is being worn by others in the world as well.

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