Misunderstood Myths about Diamonds

If diamonds really are your best friend, it’s high time you learned the truth

You know what they say, ‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend’. While not everyone agrees with this saying, most people agree they are beautiful and wouldn’t mind having one or two — especially brides. Tradition has it that you must have a diamond engagement ring to be properly engaged and believe this is how it always has been. Not so. This is a myth. Learn about this and other popular myths concerning diamonds.

Myth #1 — The 4 C’s is the Only Reliable Way of Telling Diamond Quality

When you plunk down a lot of money on a rock, you at least want to know you’re getting the very best. But unless you happen to be a gemologist, how do you know? In 1940, the Gemological Institute of America came up with the clever method of the 4 C’s.

The 4 C’s stands for color, cut, clarity and carat. The problem is, most people still really don’t understand it and unless you have a microscope at home you plan on using to gaze at your diamond, it’s pretty useless.

Tom Zoellner, author of The Heartless Stone: A Journey through the World of Diamonds, Deceit, and Desire recommends using a more simple method using the Two S’s — size and sparkle.

Myth #2 — Diamonds are Good Investments

Diamonds, like cars, depreciate rapidly. As soon as you drive a shiny new car of the dealer’s lot, it depreciates. The same goes for diamonds. Once you leave the jewelry store, your diamond automatically drops in value anywhere from 30% to 50%.

Myth #3 — Diamonds are Rare

Many people believe that diamonds are expensive because they are so rare. Not so. Each year, 163 million carats of diamonds are mined. So while you won’t find a diamond the next time you take a walk around the block, they aren’t as common as you think.

So if diamonds aren’t rare, why the high cost? Control. The gem companies control the supply of diamonds, which creates artificial scarcity along with high prices.

Myth #4 — The Groom Should Spend Two-Month’s Salary on a Diamond

De Beer’s invented this ‘tradition’ in the 1930s during the same time they came up with the idea that men should give women diamond engagement rings. By using advertising, Hollywood and European folklore, De Beer’s successfully convinced society that diamond engagement rings was the proper and aristocratic thing to do.

Myth #5 — Black Diamonds Don’t Exist

Black diamonds do exist. The proper name for these beauties is Carbonado and geologists believe black diamonds formed about one million years after the clear diamonds we’re all so familiar with.