So I happened upon an interesting read while on LinkedIn: Here's the article
Lately colored stones have been taking center stage in the jewelry field, particularly since the prices of diamonds and gold continue to rise, and perhaps because a certain British princess rocking a gorgeously huge natural sapphire. And let's face it, it's much more cost effective to purchase a gemstone wedding set versus the grotesquely priced diamond counter-part.
I've always defended the high price of diamonds being justified in that I understood how unique and rare each well cut stone was. It's also an easy price to defend when you know that the retail price is typically marked up 3X, and you know you don't have to pay that price if you know where to look. However, lately I'm having a harder and harder time explaining away the price, especially when I see the speckled gray monstrosities that the big name chain jewelers are dishing out for an outrageous price.
The big mines that were spewing out the big, brilliant, beauties are depleting and there's no new miracle mine in sight. What I have come to love as a jeweler, is the vintage pieces that come through, because you just don't see that size, color, or quality anymore.
What's alarming about this read is that organizations, like De Beers, think that jacking up the price is really going to sell the rarity of the stones. Yes, good quality diamonds are rare, but not diamonds themselves. The rare stones are the natural Emeralds and Tanzanites out there that are in the same danger of depletion, but there are no companies out there interested in the longevity of those stones since the market has been built around the diamond.
I'm interested to see how this plays out in the next coming years. I've already seen a great decline in the purchase of gold jewelry, people are going for the tougher, cheaper metals. What I am seeing in people is that if they are going to spend that huge of a chunk of change, that want that piece to last. De Beers has famously coined the idea that diamonds are forever, but gold unfortunately does not. I've already been approached several times about setting stones in metals like steel and tungsten. So what kind of jewelry alternatives will a future with overpriced materials bring in?
Blog post on article by Vinod Kuriyan on Gem Connect: Here's the original article
Princess Kate: link
Princess Diana's Ring: tumblr
Loose Diamonds: De Beers