Why Are Diamonds Expensive?
Diamonds are expensive for several reasons. First, diamonds are rare in nature. They are the hardest naturally occurring mineral and are formed deep within the Earth under extreme heat and pressure. This geological process can take billions of years, so diamonds are scarce.
Supply and Demand
Because diamonds are rare and in limited supply, they are in high demand especially for jewelry and industrial use. With limited supply and high demand, the prices of diamonds naturally remain high. Diamond companies and jewelers also strictly control the supply to keep prices up. When a new supply of diamonds does become available, they release them slowly into the market to avoid flooding and lowering prices.
Extracting diamonds from mines and processing them into high-quality gems also requires a lot of time, money, and labor. Finding diamond sources, mining the diamonds, and cutting and polishing them to enhance their shine and brilliance is an intricate multi-step process. All of these activities add to the high cost of diamonds.
Much of the high price of diamonds is also attributed to their perceived value as a symbol of wealth and status. Diamonds are a luxury item and have been heavily marketed as a prestige symbol for important moments like engagements, weddings, and anniversaries. Their visual beauty and durability has led to the perception of diamonds as a valuable asset and a secure store of value over time. This perception of value, prestige, and timelessness allows diamonds to command a high price point.
What Are The 4 Cs Of Diamonds?
Cut refers to the diamond’s shape and proportions. A well-cut diamond reflects light beautifully and sparkles brightly.
Clarity refers to how flawless the diamond is. Inclusions and cracks can scatter the light and degrade the sparkle. Flawless diamonds with no inclusions are the rarest and most valuable.
Color refers to how colorless the diamond is. Colorless diamonds are the most rare and valuable. Diamonds come in a range of colors from colorless to yellow or brown.
Carat weight refers to the size of the diamond. Larger diamonds are rarer and more valuable by volume. Carat weight is the most recognizable criterion but other qualities like cut, clarity and color also significantly impact a diamond’s value.
These 4 C’s – Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat – are the standards used to evaluate a diamond’s quality and determine its value. A high-value diamond will excel in all 4 C’s. Considering these qualities helps you choose a diamond that sparkles beautifully and lasts a lifetime.
Top 10 most expensive diamonds in the world
10. The moussaieff red diamond — up to $8 million
A rare 5.11 carat deep red diamond
The Moussaieff Red is one of the rarest and most valuable diamonds in the world. It is a 5.11 carat deep red diamond of the finest quality. According to the GIA, the most prestigious diamond certification lab, it is a Type IIa, the most rare and pure of all diamond types. It has an intensity of 95 and a saturation of 100, the highest possible scores in the two key parameters that determine a diamond’s color purity and brightness.
Red diamonds of any type and quality are extremely rare in nature. Only about 1 in every 10,000 diamonds unearthed can be classified as red. The Moussaieff Red was evaluated by the GIA and has the strongest color grade possible, called “Red”, which only a select few of the deepest color red diamonds achieve.
A legendary diamond with a fascinating history
The Moussaieff Red diamond was originally mined in 1908 in South Africa. It was purchased by and became named after its original owner, the renowned diamond cutter Moussaieff of Jerusalem. In the following decades, the diamond gained fame and notoriety being shown during royal ceremonies and exhibitions around the world.
In 1967, the Moussaieff Red was sold to Harry Winston, the famous American jewelry company, who prominently displayed it in their showcases. In 1983, Harry Winston sold it to an anonymous American collector. In 2012, Sotheby’s auctioned the diamond and sold it for $8 million. Today, the Moussaieff Red is considered one of the most famous red diamonds in the world and a symbol of beauty, rarity and wealth.
9. The heart of eternity — $16 million
The Heart of Eternity was a magnificent diamond the size of a human heart. It was one of the rarest and most sought after diamonds in the world, valued at a whopping $16 million. It had been missing for almost a century, under mysterious circumstances.
Lord Conrad Morgan was hosting a lavish ball at his family estate to announce his engagement to Lady Sophia Fairfax. The partygoers were admiring the Heart of Eternity which was proudly displayed as the centerpiece.
Suddenly, the glass display case shattered into pieces. The Heart of Eternity had gone missing. The guests gasped in horror and dismay. Without a trace or clue, the priceless diamond had vanished into thin air.
Lord Morgan was devastated and offered a large reward for any information leading to the recovery of the Heart of Eternity. But after months of searching, the diamond seemed lost forever. Its captivating beauty continuing to haunt the kingdom and the memories of those who had once gazed upon it.
The legend of the Heart of Eternity lived on, as a reminder of dazzling wonders that seem eternal yet fleeting. A stark contrast between the ephemeral and the timeless. An eternal heart that kept its secrets closely guarded.
8. The perfect pink — $23.2 million
The color of luxury and desire.
Pantone’s color of the year for 2019, ‘Living Coral’, is the perfect pink to ignite your passion and fuel indulgence. Tailored to suit fashion-forward tastes, this coral hue is ripe with vivacity and verve.
A dreamcatcher in color.
akin to a dreamcatcher woven with shimmering threads of gold, ‘Living Coral’ ensnares light and liveliness. Whether showcased through sequins, satin or stucco leather, this pink ignites your inner gypsy spirit. Decorative yet demure, pristine yet playful, ‘Living Coral’ is the chameleon of colors.
An investment for your wardrobe.
With its enduring and adaptable nature, ‘Living Coral’ will become a mainstay in your closet for seasons to come. From occasionwear to everyday essentials, this vibrant pink elevates every look through its dazzling charisma and charm. An investable It-shade and an on-trend favorite, ‘Living Coral’ is the perfect pink worth every penny.
7. The wittelsbach diamond — $23.4 million
The Wittelsbach diamond is a magnificent 125.9 carat cushion-cut diamond. It was once the property of the royal House of Wittelsbach in Bavaria for over 200 years before being sold at auction in 2011. The diamond was sold by Sotheby’s in Geneva and set a price record for a colorless diamond, selling for $23.4 million.
The Wittelsbach diamond has a nearly flawless purity and color, weighing over 25 carats larger than the Hope Diamond, which is currently on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The diamond has been described as one of the finest large diamonds ever seen. Its immense size and flawless quality make it a very rare specimen.
When it was sold, the diamond attracted bidders from all over the world, including Russia, India, North America, and Europe. The winning bidder at the auction was American jeweler William Goldberg, who purchased the diamond on behalf of an unnamed private collector. The Wittelsbach diamond is one of only two stones cut above 120 carats that have ever come on the market.
With The Wittelsbach now in private hands, its future is unknown. But its sale marked the first time in over 200 years that one of the crown jewels from the royal house of Wittelsbach came up for auction. The Wittelsbach diamond is a stunning symbol of wealth and prestige that is unmatched in the world of diamonds. Its magnificent size and luster serve as a reminder of the rarest and most prized jewels in history.
6. The winston blue — $23.8 million
The Winston Blue is a rare gemstone sold at auction for $23.8 million in 2014. It is one of the largest certified untreated deep blue-green diamonds in the world. The diamond weighs 45.95 carats and is rated as a Fancy Vivid color, with an intensity certification of 2.6 out of 3.
The Winston Blue was discovered in 1989 in the Premier mine in South Africa. It was sold at Christie’s auction house in Hong Kong to an anonymous bidder from Asia. At the time of sale, it was the highest price ever paid per carat for a blue diamond.
Blue diamonds are considered one of the rarest gemstones, estimated at only 0.25% of all diamonds found. In addition to its record sale price, the Winston Blue is remarkable for its size, natural color, and nature of being an untreated loose diamond. It has become renowned for representing the pinnacle of rare, fine diamonds.
The blue color of the diamond comes from boron atoms within the stone. When exposed to UV light, the boron atoms in the gemstone absorb the UV light and emit a blue color. The rarer the blue color, the more valuable the diamond becomes. The deep blue-green hue of the Winston Blue is considered one of the purest and most vivid blue diamond shades ever recorded.
5.The pink star — $71.2 million
Weighing 8.86 troy ounces, the oval diamond has Certificate of Origin from South Africa and was certified Type IIa by the Gemological Institute of America with no imperfections visible to the naked eye. Its vivid, bright pink color and superb transparency have only been seen in a handful of other diamonds in history. This diamond stand alone as one of the rarest pink diamonds of the finest quality ever offered at auction.
A Distinguished Legacy
The Pink Star diamond has a distinguished provenance and pedigree, having been exhibited at the Royal Palace in Bangkok, the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. and the Louvre Museum in Paris. It previously sold at auction in 1979 where it set the auction record for a colorless diamond. Now, 40 years after its last sale, The Pink Star has reaffirmed its position as one of the greatest diamonds ever offered in auction history. Its rarity and unparalleled beauty have enabled it to endure as an icon of exceptional pedigree and provenance.
Despite its exceptional size and quality, The Pink Star was offered at an estimated price of $72-90 million, representing fantastic value given its unquestionable importance and prestige as a world-famous diamond. Its sale for $71.2 million demonstrates that it achieved a price per carat unlike any other diamond in history, highlighting the value of colored diamonds at the very top of the market and cementing its status as one of the most famous diamonds in the world.
4. The centenary diamond — $100 million
One of the most famous and valuable diamonds in the world is the Centenary Diamond. Weighing 202.5 carats (40.5 grams), it was acquired by Tiffany & Co. in 1879 and commemorates the company’s 100th anniversary.
The Centenary Diamond is a large, colorless diamond with a modified pear shape cut. It features separate smaller diamonds set on both sides of the larger stone, surrounded by smaller diamonds. This magnificent diamond is an iconic symbol of luxury, prestige and timeless beauty.
Due to its fame and prestige, the Centenary Diamond is estimated to be worth over $100 million today. However, despite many offers, Tiffany & Co. has never sold this spectacular diamond. It remains prominently displayed in Tiffany & Co.’s New York flagship store as a tribute to craftsmanship, quality and timeless style.
Large, high-quality diamonds are extremely rare in nature. As such, diamonds of the size and purity of the Centenary Diamond are almost priceless. The only two diamonds larger than the Centenary Diamond are the Golden Jubilee diamond and the Incomparable diamond. This makes the Centenary Diamond one of the largest colorless diamonds in the world.
The Centenary Diamond is a stunning symbol of enduring love, wealth and prestige. Its immense size, clarity and value have secured its place in history as one of the most renowned diamonds in existence.
3. The hope diamond — $200-$250 million
The Hope Diamond is considered to be one of the most valuable diamonds in the world. It weighs 45.52 karats and was recently valued at approximately $250 million. The diamond was originally purchased for Louis XIV at a cost of “roughly 10,000 tournament prizes.” It was recut into its present shape in 1911.
The Hope Diamond has an infamous and notorious history. There were claims that it was cursed and brought bad luck and death to its owners. The earliest known owner was King Louis XV of France, who gave it to his mistress. During the French Revolution, it was stolen and disappeared for several years until it reappeared in London in 1839.
In 1911, the Hope Diamond was donated to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. by Louis Cartier and Harry Winston. It has since become one of the most popular attractions at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Despite its questionable history, the Hope Diamond continues to enthral visitors and remains a stunning, rare, and valuable diamond.
The Hope Diamond is a 45.52 carat deep blue diamond. It was originally sold as the “Tavernier Blue”, named after the French jeweler who purchased it. For decades, it was considered to be a member of the “seven wonders of the world”. Its rare color comes from boron atoms within the crystal, which absorb red light and reflect blue light. The diamond is arguably the finest example of the rare blue diamond color.
2. The cullinan — up to $2 billion
The Cullinan is Rolls-Royce’s most exclusive SUV. Now in its second generation, the Cullinan is a purpose-built luxury vehicle that can deliver an unrivaled experience on- and off-road. Every inch of its presence has been expertly crafted from the finest materials using time-honored British techniques.
Power and sophistication like no other
The Cullinan’s 6.75-liter twin-turbo V8 engine produces 563 horsepower and 575 lb-ft of torque, bringing it from 0 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. An enhanced eight-speed automatic transmission amplifies its power and poise. Combined with advanced all-wheel drive, it delivers exceptional performance and refined, effortless luxury wherever your journey takes you.
Starrily appointed interiors
Within its sleek body sits a spacious and lavish cabin handcrafted using the finest materials. Each seam, stitch and detail has been meticulously finished to ensure the utmost comfort and well-being. Premium Suite outer materials include leather, wood veneers and ‘Diamond Knurl’ aluminum.
Ultimate off-road capability
When venturing off the beaten track, the Cullinan’s advanced suspension, transfer case and twin-clutch all-wheel drive system provides outstanding capability and control. Its ground clearance of 11.8 inches, approach angle of 28.5 degrees and wading depth of up to 34.5 inches allow you to confidently tackle rough, uneven terrain.
1. The koh-i-noor — unknown
The Koh-i-Noor diamond is perhaps the most famous and valuable diamond in the world. It is a large, colorless, brilliant-cut diamond weighing approximately 186 carats. For centuries it has been the symbol of power and prestige. It has been owned by Mughal rulers of India, Persian royalty, Afghan leaders, and the British Crown.
The earliest known history of the Koh-i-Noor diamond dates back to the 14th century. It was originally mined in Golconda, in southern India, which was once the major source of diamonds. The diamond was called “Mountain of Light” in Persian, after which it gained the English name Koh-i-Noor. It has been surrounded by myth and legend for its immense size, beauty, and value.
The Koh-i-Noor diamond came into the possession of Britain after the Second Anglo-Afghan War in 1849. It was presented to Queen Victoria in 1850 and was placed in the crown worn by Queen Mary in 1911. It remains one of the crown jewels in the Tower of London collection to this day. Its immense historical significance and prestige have been established over centuries of ownership and imperial conquests. Its controversial history continues to captivate people around the world.
The origin, ownership, and value of the Koh-i-Noor diamond remain shrouded in mystery. Despite frequent appraisals, its exact value remains unknown due to its priceless historical importance. The Koh-i-Noor is a dazzling symbol of power, wealth, and prestige that continues to inspire wonder and interest in its enigmatic history. Its legend and luster will endure for generations to come.