Whither diamonds?

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  1. Is it possible that diamonds won't be as valued in the future as they are now? There are at least two things that make me wonder.

    (1) The advent of high quality gem-sized artificial diamonds. Technology keeps getting both better and cheaper - will artificial diamonds help drive down the price of diamonds as many people seek them out as a low cost alternative?

    (2) Fashion and social pressure. Within the past few years, political "progressives" have been decrying the diamond industry as exploitative of workers, particularly children. Although some might find it difficult to believe that social pressure might curtail the sale of diamonds, one only needs to look to the fur industry over the past quarter century. It's now a fraction of the size it once was, mainly due to campaigns by animal activists.

    I've been contemplating buying some serious bling recently and am wondering how it will hold it's value. I certainly don't look at it as an investment that will grow, but I hope that a purchase wouldn't be a complete consumable item either. I wonder if I bought a diamond necklace today, would its relative used value be 70%, 40%, or 10% of what it is today in the coming decades.

    Any thoughts?

  2. We obviously don't have a crystal ball, but we can look to the past (and present) for answers.

    There have always been alternatives to diamonds and people have always wondered whether these alternatives will undermine the price of diamonds; but they never have.

    I think it is likely that, in the future, artificial diamonds will become an alternative to cubic zirconia, or moissanite, rather than natural diamonds.

    Some people will always want to know they have the real thing. Just like, some people will always want to know they have a genuine, high end designer bag. Whether, or not, most other people can tell the difference.

    Does the fact that we can buy a fairly similar, lower priced bag, stop us craving the real deal?

    Cultured pearls are a less expensive alternative to natural pearls and yet, natural pearls are still extremely valuable. Actually, because natural pearls are so rare and hard to find, the cultured pearl market spurs on the natural pearl market (cultured pearls actually create a higher demand for natural pearls); having fallen in love with the beauty of their cultured pearls, people want to 'step up' to natural pearls.

    If cultured pearls didn't exist, most people would never have seen a pearl IRL and wouldn't know what they were missing!

    A few people start at the top and stay there; but many people work their way up through the various levels. Just as, many people start buying High Street bags and work their way up from D&B or Coach, to MJ, Chloe, Chanel or BV, Hermes etc.

    Also, lab created gemstones have been available for years and yet, most people, who can afford it, still want to own the naturally produced gems, if possible.

    I have costume jewellery, that I love, as well as some beautiful lab gemstones; but it doesn't stop me also wanting natural gemstones and diamonds.

    Fur always comes from cruelty. There cannot ever be any such thing as ethical fur production (from an animal).

    Fur cannot, yet, be produced without killing an animal (often, purely for vanity rather than a by-product of the meat industry) and it, almost always, also involves extreme cruelty in the rearing/snaring of the animal and the methods of slaughter (to preserve the pelt).

    People who avoid new fur, very often avoid vintage fur, too, because (even though the damage was already done when the original purchaser handed over their money) they don't want people to mistake it for new and think that they support the fur industry.

    Natural diamonds do not have to come from cruelty.

    So, a 'new' mined diamond wearer does not have to feel a social pariah, in the way that a new fur wearer often does.

    Vintage diamonds are an attractive proposition to many socially responsible buyers, because if it is a pre-owned ethical diamond, all to the good, but if it isn't, the damage was done when the diamond was originally purchased and they have not contributed to it and unlike fur, will not automatically appear to be supporting it.

    BTW, just for the record - I am, absolutely, of the opinion that nobody should, knowingly, purchase a new, non-ethically produced diamond. :smile:
  3. Wow. That was a really thoughtful reply. Thanks for taking the time, chloehandbags!
  4. ^ Thank you, coco-nut! :shame: :flowers:

    No problem! :biggrin:
  5. I personally don't think it matters whether or not they will hold their value; if you want a 'real' natural diamond, then you want one and should just buy it.

    If you are looking for something on which to spend your money and one day sell to get a return, don't buy a piece of jewelry.

    Why are you concerned about it being a complete consumable?

    Cars and clothes are, but no-one ever gives a second thought to getting the one/s they want.
  6. Actually, my cars haven't been a complete consumable for me. Resale value has always been important to me, and as you probably know, resale values vary from maker to maker and model to model. I'm fairly sure I'm not alone in considering resale value when buying a car.

    And although I don't look to jewelry as an investment, it's different than clothing which I anticipate will wear out. I expect there to be a residual value, something that I can turn to in a dire emergency, or that my children can cash in on when I'm gone - especially if their tastes are different than mine. Or if styles have changed dramatically. Am I the only one who thinks this way?
  7. Great post Chloehandbags but you say there is no cruelty from diamond mining. What about "conflict diamonds" and all the media attention given to it in recent years??? I do know many people who are refusing to wear diamonds and looking at other stones due to the voilence in the diamond trade nowadays.
  8. Probably not, but I don't think that way. When I buy expensive jewelry (something like diamonds or pearls), I assume it will be with me for a lifetime. The "residual value" has never crossed my mind when making a jewelry purchase.

    I do wish to have the best quality I can afford, though, and for me that means having real diamonds. Maybe others can't tell the difference, but I know and that's enough for me. I don't buy my jewelry based on what others are going to think.
  9. I won't presume to speak for Chloe, but I think her point was that not all diamonds are conflict diamonds. There are plenty of ethically mined natural diamonds on the market, e.g., from Canada.
  10. Tiffany uses diamonds from Canada.

    Diamonds are commodities so they could go up and down. I think social pressure may change how diamonds are mined and where people buy their diamonds from, but honestly I don't think it will do much to stop consumption. After all fur is still valued and expensive despite years of effort on the part of activists. There are lots of good fakes - people still like having the real thing (us PF girls know that).

    Personally I do consider residual value. I suppose I'm used to knowing the weight of my jewelry when I buy it, which is more middle eastern/asian. Actually I'm probably selling a bunch of 22k pieces that I received as a gift and I'll make money on them because the price of gold went up so high and because I didn't buy them at such a premium. I bought some gold Tiffany earrings at about 40% off recently and I know that if I didn't want them later they would also sell for close to what I paid.
  11. I expect mine will be with me for a lifetime too. And although the chance of becoming a war refugee as a US citizen is pretty slim, I know that it's happened to plenty of Europeans, Asians, South Americans and Africans in the last century. Most refugees weren't able to take their real estate or bank accounts with them. But they were able to stick their jewels in their pockets to smooth their transition to a new life.

    And as a mother, I look beyond my own life to the legacy I will leave my children. I can't expect them to have the same tastes as me, nor do I expect fashion to be the same a century from now. I have my great-grandfather's gold pocketwatch and several cameos from my great-grandmother. I view them as sentimental rememberances of them, not much more. And frankly, that's how the market views them too. Their relative worth today is a fraction of what they were a hundred years ago.

    You sound comfortable with that happening to your jewelry, and I think that's great. I'm just not there yet.
  12. Wow, coco-nut you are very unselfish! That is good, I am quite selfish.

    I buy jewelry for me and my own pleasure.

    If I were going to leave my children anything it would be cash or a property...

  13. Thank you, but with respect, I didn't say that.

    Please re-read my post, I said:

    'Natural diamonds do not have to come from cruelty.'


  14. :yes:

    Thank you, ashlend! :flowers:

    Please feel free to speak for me, whenever you like! :lol:
  15. Ha! Are you kidding? I'm always looking for the most bling per buck! I'm just acutely aware that I'll be gone someday and someone's going to be dealing with all this stuff I'm accumulating. I'd feel better knowing it's something that still has value and that won't go straight to a dumpster. If I had more money, I'd be spoiling my kids because I plan to leave them everything but a mess.