Shelf Life of a Diamond
When purchasing something big like a house or a car, one of the major considerations is the estimated value five, ten, or fifteen years down the road.
When getting engaged to the woman of your dreams, a man usually presents a diamond ring, which will increase in value with time. The idea is for the ring together with the relationship, to mature together.
Proposing with a Leibish yellow diamond engagement ring
There is a joke said about marriage, a woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn’t. A man marries a woman expecting that she won’t change, and she does. The only thing that will stay exactly as it was when it was first presented is the diamond. But, no man wants to give his bride-to-be a present which will wear out or lose value. Perhaps it was the clever marketing campaign of De Beers, but the reason engagement rings stuck was because these stones will indeed last forever just like they intend for their love.
Many of the world famous celebrities like to present diamond gifts. Among the most famous diamonds ever given as a present was the Taylor–Burton Diamond, weighing 68 carats. It was first purchased by Walter Annenberg back in 1967, but became well known later on in 1969 when it was bought by Richard Burton. He purchased it for Elizabeth Taylor from a Christie’s auction. The bidding started at $200,000. There were a few powerful bidders both in the room and on the phone, such as Aristotle’s Onassis and the Sultan of Brunei. Burton set a limit to his broker of 1 million and was outbid by Cartier by a few dollars. Subsequently, Cartier passed the stone on to him for 1.1 million as his lady, Liz Taylor, wanted the stone at all cost.
When Liz Taylor’s second marriage with Richard Burton fell apart, she decided to part from the stone for 5 million dollars. Part of the proceeds she earned from that sale was used to build a hospital in Botswana.
One of my favorite actors, Leonardo DiCaprio, once gave a ‘real’ diamond to supermodel, Gisele Bundchen. It was a generous end of a short affair, and Giselle eventually decided to sell the ring at Christies. She donated the proceeds to charity on behalf of diamond mining in Africa. It’s a good thing he didn’t offer her one of those lab grown diamonds he is now involved with as had she tried to sell one of those, who knows what type of proceeds she would have seen, if any at all?
Regretfully, statistics are showing now 40% - 50% of the married couples in America divorce. As we are now over 35 years in business, we see clients who marry time and time again. Having been happy with their purchase the first time, they come back when looking for a second or third engagement ring. Kind of a bittersweet sale, only because we know they likely had to go through some tough times.
When a couple gets divorced, the ring is among the first items to go as it lost its significance. It will still retain a numerical value, but it no longer has meaning to the relationship. When the cost of an engagement ring is $10,000 or more, it is above the average amount spent on the ring. It becomes another one of the financial assets, as the value will always remain. Whether it will appreciate in value over time is directly related to the rarity and demand of those goods. Hence, just another one of the reasons so many have taken a liking to the world of color.
A Leibish heart shaped Argyle Pink diamond engagement ring
A real diamond has no limits on its shelf life. A lab grown diamond made in the Diamond Foundry may look the same as a real one, but has zero resale value.
The brilliance of the relationship may be gone, but the stone will shine forever. It won’t lose its luster and it doesn’t get worn out with time. It will remain as fresh and beautiful as it was on the day it was given. Each stone has a monetary value, and can be sold or exchanged for a different diamond down the line. No woman wants to get married twice with the same stone.
The heavily advertised diamond like stone from The Diamond Foundry may have shelf life. It may have all the characteristics of the real diamond, but they are valueless, no jewelry store will take it back for an upgrade or exchange of a real diamond. In fact, just last week the terminology used to disclose diamond treatments was debated during the 2016 CIBJO Congress in Yerevan, Armenia. As a result, Udi Sheintal, President of the Diamond Commission, changed some of the language and definitions in the new ISO standard 18323:2015 Jewellery – Consumer Confidence. Anything without a natural crystallization, such as lab grown diamonds, will no longer be labeled a 'real diamond?' Goods grown in a lab are to be referred to as an 'artificial product. ' Real Diamonds survive relationships and marriages. As we all witnessed in James Cameron’s Titanic, these stones can even be thrown into the Ocean, and one day surface unblemished like new.
Leibish Polnauer, President and Founder of Leibish & Co. Fancy Color Diamonds