When you gently smile looking at the perfect diamond ring, it is a sign that the work of hundreds of people has been completed.
The joy of being in touch with beautiful jewelry is the culmination of a long road that starts somewhere deep in a mine, passes through exchanges and laboratories of gemological institutes, the offices of valuation experts and the imagination of jewelry designers. In the end, the diamond goes to a jewelry master who turns it into a dream come true. Whose hands does the stone pass through before the customer sees it? Let’s trace together the path a diamond makes before it becomes a brilliant.
Over the years and the continuous development of the industry, the once clearly defined boundaries between the various market groups have started blurring. The chain of dependence and overlapping interests make traders operate in many fields at the same time, but each transaction starts with mines scattered around the world. Most of the excavated stones are sold in raw, uncut form. Once they are ready for sale, they are listed on international exchanges in all major diamond trading centers around the world. The only exception are the rarest and most precious stones, among them, cut by the best specialists from Western Australia, the famous pink diamonds from the Argyle mine, which are accessible only to the chosen. Of the hundreds of millions of diamonds produced by Argyle each year, only the best 60 are in one of the most prestigious and exclusive offers in the world—Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender.
Most of the stones that reach the wholesale market from the mine are bought by diamond cutting agents. Until recently, the most important centers of this type included, among others Belgium, Israel, USA and Russia. Today, due to lower costs and dynamic development of technologies supporting human work, these are mainly China and India, where the cost of cutting one diamond is several times lower than in the USA. Some of the stones are sold by intermediaries to large corporations which, based on negotiated long-term agreements, sell cut diamonds to their regular customers. The rest are sold at auctions where companies selling investment diamonds to individual customers, jewelry designers and manufacturers as well as fashion houses also take part.
People responsible for assessing the quality of diamonds are expert gemologists. Certification of diamonds in the best gemological institutes in the world is one of the basic elements helping brokers in building reliable sales offers. Specialists issue a certificate for each stone individually. It is a document confirming, among others, the natural origin of the diamond and determining its quality—the color, cut, purity and mass. There is also no doubt that certificates issued by the largest and oldest institute in the world, GIA, help to maintain the high value of the stone and facilitate the possible resale of the diamond after many years. Institutes such as the GIA are the only ones that offer a full guarantee of impartial and reliable evaluation because they are fully independent and have no connections with companies in the diamond industry.
Individual stones are already in the hands of specific sellers, who will soon present them to the final buyers. At this stage, a polished diamond armed with a certificate is directed to valuation. One of the basic tools of every broker’s work is the paid Rapaport price list, which is updated every Friday. (Find out everything about the Rapaport price list here) The prices published in the report are based on the parameters underlying the 4C rule and are the resultant of data collected from almost every segment of the diamond market in the world. In practice, this means that a specialist valuing a stone can make an accurate valuation of virtually every diamond offered to customers. After analyzing the parameters, the broker sets the price, which he then presents to the customer together with the current edition of the report.
After buying a stone, the customer makes the last, often difficult, decision—whether the stone will remain in an unmounted form or become part of jewelry. As soon as the decision to mount the stone is made, an unusual meeting takes place between the designer and the diamond’s owner. The imagination and creativity of the former, combined with the taste and expectations of the latter, is the beginning of something extraordinary. The finished jewelry design is placed in the hands of a goldsmith who brings to life a unique piece of jewelry.
After many weeks and often months of work of many people, the most noble and undoubtedly the most beautiful form of investment is given to the customer—something that for future generations will be more than just security and an investment of capital.