Today, one of the best investments you can make for the future comes in a form of precious materials. The most versatile of these are also the most popular ones. Gemstones come in many forms, shapes, and sizes. One thing is for sure, the most sought-after ones are diamonds and for many good reasons. As an investment for the future, they are proven to hold their value over long periods of time. Also, diamonds are seemingly impervious to the global financial crisis and other market fluctuations. In short, they represent the best return on investment (ROI) to risk ratio. Aside from a purely economic sense, diamonds can also hold a sentimental value. In the western world, it is common to use them as jewelry. They are meant to be worn and shown for everyone to see. Having all of these variables in mind, let’s go over the types of diamonds and why you might consider one over the other.
1. Basic classification
There are four basic kinds of diamonds. Natural, treated, manmade, and natural colored diamonds. So, we will start in order. Natural diamonds are your regular, run-of-the-mill, white, colorless diamonds. Not much to add to that. Usually, they are the first thing that pops into mind and what we most often see in movies. Next in line are the treated diamonds. Like the previous ones, these are mined, but their attributes are manipulated and artificially enhanced. After all, a better-looking diamond is a more attractive one. The treatments associated with the process are usually done to diamonds that cannot be sold otherwise. Because of that, prices are dramatically lower than a natural, non-treated equivalent. Next on our list are the man-made diamonds. Also known as the lab-grown diamonds, these are becoming a trend as of late. As technology has evolved, so did the processes necessary for creating them. These are becoming increasingly cheaper to produce as time passes. Once, the prices were about 30% beneath their natural equivalents. Today, lab diamonds are about half the price, and it is estimated that in the future they will be up to 70% cheaper. The appeal is quite obvious. The last on our list are the natural, colored diamonds. Arguably, these are the rarest, and most beautiful ones out there. About one to ten thousand regular diamonds, to be exact. Lately, they have spiked awareness and with it, consumer demand. This awareness came mostly from various celebrities wearing them as a fashion statement or an engagement ring. These diamonds come in all the colors of the rainbow – black, blue, yellow, gray, purple etc. Also, they can come in a combination of colors.
2. The 4 C’s
There are more variables to consider when determining the value of a diamond. The four C’s stand for Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat. A crucial part of a diamond’s value is the cut. Its quality determines the reflection of light that passes through the diamond. An optimized cut perfects the angle and symmetry of the edges, along with the polish and enhances the beauty. Clarity of a diamond is determined by the absence of foreign minerals that can be trapped during the crystallization process. This characteristic is what makes every piece of diamond unique, just like a fingerprint with humans. The imperfections are called “inclusions” and they determine the diamond’s value. The fewer they are, the higher the clarity is and more light will be reflected. A perfectly pure piece is truly a rare sight to behold. While most diamonds appear to be without color, there are always subtle differences. Usually, hints of brown or yellow are present, determining the value of the piece. Again, the clearer it is, the more value it holds with certain exceptions which we will touch on later. Our last C, the carat is the last variable in this section. A little-known fact, carat comes from a carab seed, a product of the locust tree. The reason for it is that these seeds are nearly identical in weight. So, they were used by gem traders of old as a unit of weight for measuring diamonds.
Colored diamonds are making a breakthrough to consumers for some time now. Gemstones are usually prized for their clarity and lack of color. But some have intensely strong colors. And it is these that are catching the eyes of the public en masse. Such pieces have been coined “Fancies” for their fancy colors. These colors can encompass the entire spectrum, giving diamonds a whole new dimension. Yellow ones are the most commonly colored diamonds, thanks to the traces of nitrogen that are present within. On the other hand, the most expensive ones have a strong blue or orange tone. But the most valuable diamonds when it comes to color are the Argyle pink diamonds. These are called the “safe havens” when it comes to investing, even more so than their differently colored equivalents. These are the rarest of any other kind. The thing is, their distinctive, warm color is caused by the diamond’s structure and not by chemical impurities. A trait that makes them truly unique.
Other than physical and chemical properties, atomic makeups and the likes, history and personal attachment also determine the value of a gemstone. These precious stones can have a very large emotional and sentimental value. On the other, more mind grounded side, they are a very low-risk investment in the future. Very durable, both physically and economically, diamonds are proven historically to be the best value holders ever. Even more so than real estate. Whatever your motivations may be, now you have the knowledge to undertake one of the best investments of your life.