(Closed) "Diamonds aren't rare" question

posted 6 years ago in Rings
Post # 31
559 posts
Busy bee

I don’t know how truthful these articles are and I do advice reading them with a grain of salt but they do provide some interesting information to your question. https://www.gemsociety.org/article/are-diamonds-really-rare/ https://www.gemsociety.org/article/how-rare-is-that-gem/

From what I’ve gathered (this is just an impression, no sources) diamonds can be rare but you’d be looking at one that is 10+ carats with perfect specs. Due to their abundance though what’s considered rare today might be common tomorrow and vice versa as it all depends on what they find in the mines. 

Post # 32
584 posts
Busy bee

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Worried9887:  So, I suppose this really depends on your definition of “rare”.  Rather than address that, I hopped over to Blue Nile to see how many large diamonds there are (I’m going to define large as over 2 ct).

There are 6,139 >2ct round diamonds on Blue Nile.

Filter that to diamonds with a cut of ideal or better: 4,670

Filter that to diamonds with a color of F or better: 1,607

and finally, filter all that to a clarity of IF or FL: 204

And that’s just what’s available on Blue Nile.  Given the easy availablility of a large, high quality diamonds (and note I just looked at round diamonds), I’m going to say they’re not that rare.  But your definition may vary.

Post # 33
2233 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Ta-dah!!! – It’s not the article I was referring to earlier but it is very recent and published by a very reputable company, Bain and Company. It contans a lot of fascinating information. For those who want to read it in full the link is here:


Key facts and observations include

  • De Beers now produce less than 50% of the world’s diamonds
  • There are few known major underdeveloped diamond sites, and no major discoveries have been made over the past two decades. As a result, the cost of finding new, economically recoverable deposits is rising.
  • Rarety: around 20% of rough diamond production will be processed into polished stones, of this 20% only 10% are stones of 1 carat and above (so 2% of total production).
  • Stones of three or more carats make up less than 2% of polished- diamond volume and about 5% of value. Because such large stones, especially of high clarity and color, are increasingly rare, their prices have historically outperformed price growth in the overall market, rising 150% in the past ten years, compared with a 120% increase for stones of 1–2.99 carats and a 60% rise for the overall market
  • Demand for diamond jewelry is expected to outstrip supply by a considerable margin in the long term. The gap is expected to widen beginning in 2019 as production flattens (production is forecast to increase until 2024 – just not as much as demand)
  • The main demand driver is the demand for jewelry, despite offering certain benefits as an investment (low volatility and stable returns). Only around 5% of diamond demand is investment led, one problem being that unlike precious metals, diamonds are not “fungible”; one carat is not necessarily equal to another carat. Diamond pricing is inherently subjective, based on emotional factors as well as considerations of clarity, color, cut, and carat size (the diamond industry’s “4 Cs”). There are more than 20,000 possible permutations of those characteristics, which defeats attempts to establish a standard per-carat price.

With respect to rarity, this report does not give figures for the % of polished stones that will achieve Very Good and above cut gradings; colour gradings of J and better; and clarity grades of SI2 and above as graded by the GIA, HRD or AGS laboratories. I anticipate that this will constitute much less than half of all polished diamond production. I will try to find out.

I think it is safe to say that graded diamonds of 1carat or larger are rare. Based on the report above and also McKinsey report  “Perspectives on the Diamond Industry”, Stewart Goodman, Martin Bratt & Leonie Brantberg, McKinsey & Co, September 2014.

Right off to hunt for data on reputable lab graded diamonds as a % of polished diamond output!

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 11 months ago by Drizzle.
Post # 34
3050 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

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Drizzle:  Interesting!   I knew diamonds are highly coveted, very expensive, often Imitated but didn’t know about their rareness.


Post # 36
639 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

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Worried9887:  My source on diamonds is that atlantic article that peridot456 linked. For sapphires, it depends on what kind. Yogo sapphires (and other rare sapphire variants) and natural sapphires too hold their value due to relative rarity.

Sapphires: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yogo_sapphire

Post # 37
224 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

I will just add that the cost of mining and cutting diamonds adds to their market price, and the quality of the cut can greatly affect the sparkle and fire, and thus the rarity and price.

Post # 38
2981 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

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Worried9887:  no good quality diamonds aren’t rare. A good quality diamond is so because of how the rough crystal is cut to maximise fire and lack of inclusions. You can have a 0.10ct diamond that is good quality over say a 1.00ct because of the cut colour and clarity. 

What is as you say rare is the size/ carat. This is becauseas as the rough crystal is cut for a larger stone it isn’t as easy to cut away parts of the crystal that have inclusions, bubbles or feathers. 

However for all the diamonds minied per year only 20-22% is classed as good enough to use in jewellery. 

My souce is a lot of books on the subject and also a family friend who is a tutor in the subject. 

As stone is rare when it’s unheated of by 80% of the world population. 

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