Tips and Tricks

If Diamonds Aren’t Rare Why Are They So Expensive?

A diamond may be forever, but does that mean they are rare too? A lot of the time we take what we’ve heard about diamonds for granted - much has been great marketing done by the top companies, and while they’ve done a great job of impacting the precious stones’ sales, let’s really get to the bottom of this important question we often overlook.

Are They Really Rare?

The rarity of diamonds comes from the amount of good, gem quality stones. The bigger, more clear, least amount of color = rare. So long story short, good diamonds are hard to come by, which in turn means a bigger price tag.

Compared to other gemstones, diamonds are actually quite plentiful. However, gem quality diamonds (meaning they are nice and sparkly and pretty) are a little more rare. The majority of diamonds mined are an ugly color, or so included that they’d stand no chance to adorn your finger. These are called “industrial grade”, meaning they usually end up being ground up into diamond dust and used in tools and manufacturing.

Where it Started

The Argyle diamond mine in Australia (now closed)

In the early 1800’s, diamonds actually were quite rare. There weren’t a ton of mines producing good, gem quality stones. However, this all changed at the turn of the century when a huge amount of good diamond mines started being discovered and worked in South Africa. Thus, the diamond market became oversaturated with them.

Why are They Expensive if They Aren't Really Rare?

If you think about a diamond, from start to finish, there is a lot of work and cost associated with them. First, finding the areas that could potentially be mined, processing the rough materials to find the diamonds, and then the other half - which is where the cutting and faceting process comes in. It takes a lot of knowledge and time, (and money!) to craft good quality diamonds. All of this is being reflected in the cost of the stone.

bench jeweler Why Are They So Expensive

If you’ve done your fair share of natural or lab diamond shopping, you’ve probably stumbled upon some big name brand retailers. You may notice something - the big, established companies that have their stones adorn celebrities' necks at fancy galas and awards ceremonies, have grossly overpriced dollar amounts to go along with them. This isn’t due to their diamonds being any more rare than any other diamond, but because you’re paying for the name, along with a nice stone.

While their diamonds may be very beautiful, you can usually find a very similar diamond (no two diamonds are identical due to being natural, you can find another with the same specifications though) at a much lower price point.

Most people think the more expensive the diamond is, the more rare and wonderful it is. But this isn’t always necessarily the case - the important part of this isn’t the price tag, but the greatness of the stone. And we can help you find a winner!

In Conclusion

If you’re considering a name-brand ring, and the price tag is shocking you, let us help! We have tons of settings and gorgeous diamonds to match that won’t burn as huge a hole in your wallet. You can always send along a photo of the setting, and the specs of the diamond and a gemologist can help you find one just the same.

Lex Alcala
Lex Alcala
Lex has been studying and diving into the gem world for years. She’s finally able to combine her love of writing and passion for all things gem and diamond related as a writer for Rare Carat. When she’s not working on on creating fun and fascinating articles or studying for her Graduate Gemologist Diploma, she’s hanging with her husband and 3 amazing bonus kids.