Diamonds Are Forever .... Cheap
The $143 billion jewelry business -- and the would-be fiancés, Valentines and lovers of bling that it caters to -- are facing a shakeup. Lab-produced diamonds, once suitable only for industrial use, are being produced with color and clarity that match -- or exceed -- the quality of diamonds dug out of the earth. These lab-made diamonds have begun trickling into retailers at prices below those for natural diamonds of similar size and sparkle.And, I will add, a whole lot less bloody. I have always been amazed at the attraction to diamonds given the circumstance under which they are mined and distributed. DeBeers is a monopoly that charges artificially high prices for stones that are actually quite abandunt. Meanwhile, as depicted in the movie "Blood Diamond," the diamond trade fuels bloody conflict in Africa. How is it that the same people that claim to be so concerned about the human condition lust after diamonds and show them off as symbols of wealth and status?
DeBeers is in a panic, stepping up marketing of the dubious merits of mined diamonds relative to those that are manmade. Tiffany and Co. in typical snotty fashion says they will only sell "natural" diamonds.
But, the writing is on the wall. Man-made diamonds are actually more clear and brilliant than those coming from dirty mines. And even while produced in relatively low quantities now, they are being sold for 15% less than De Beers' bloody diamonds. Production always rises to meet demand, so there is little doubt that man-made diamonds will soon be produced in massive quantities. That means the price of all diamonds - from mines or from manufacturing plants - will decline precipitiously.
Here's a little advice. If you own some big fat diamonds, pawn them now while they still have value. Take the proceeds and invest in the some of the companies manufacturing diamonds. In five or ten years, you can take your fat profits from the appreciation in your stocks in these companies and buy enough diamonds to fill your house. But, of course, once the masses can afford them as if they were rhinestones, they will loose their appeal.
Some of the companies producing these high quality man-made diamonds include:
Chatham Created Diamonds
Diamonds may be forever, but are they going to remain a girl's best friend?
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