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Ada_Diamonds14890 karma

This is a really important question - please upvote!

IMHO, the price of mined diamonds is about to fall precipitously. Why? It's not because of synthetic diamonds, but instead because a diamond is forever, but Baby Boomers are not.

Think back to WWII and the decades that followed. The massive improvement of machinery during WWII resulted in a massive increase in diamond mining production. Then you had the 'diamond is forever' campaign result in a massive increase of purchases of diamonds by Baby Boomers.

Almost every car, fridge, and radio from the 1950s has long been destroyed, but virtually every diamond bought in the 1950s has the exact same utility today. Those diamonds are about to flood the market, in significantly more quantities than lab diamonds ever will.

There is a joke in the diamond industry that the biggest diamond mine in the world is in Florida and Arizona, but the mine is the pawn shops, not the Earth.

So Econ 101 - demand for diamonds is relatively stable, but supply is about to shoot up. Thus I believe we're going to see a sharp fall of diamond pricing.

The mined diamond lobby wants to blame millenials, lab diamonds, rent prices in NYC and SF, or anyone else, but the real answer is that the problem is that a diamond is forever, but humans are not.

Ada_Diamonds1169 karma

The record for a diamond gemstone is 15 carats. The record for a diamond plate is 92 carats IIRC.

The driving goal of the industry is *not* a 100 carat gemstone, but instead 4" wafers of diamond to replace silicon as a semiconductor substrate... blue diamonds are the best semiconductor know to man!

Not sure I understand recycling a diamond, what do you mean?

We do offer fancy-colored lab diamonds, and they are significantly less expensive than fancy colored natural diamonds. While a natural blue or pink diamonds can sell for millions of dollars per carat at auction, lab grown yellow, blue, pink, red, green, and black diamonds are only a small premium over the price of colorless lab diamonds.

Ada_Diamonds1103 karma

Basically an explosion creates very high temperature and very high pressure for a very brief moment. If done correctly, diamond can grow in these conditions, but their size remains quite small, due to the short time. The HPHT (high pressure high temperature) process creates similar temperatures and pressures to your grandfather's shock process, but sustains those conditions for days or weeks at a time, allowing the diamonds to grow into gemstone sizes.

Fun fact - there is an entire city in Europe filled with diamonds in the streets, steps, etc. because of an asteroid impact shockwaved the forest into diamonds.

Ada_Diamonds1062 karma

It's not way cheaper, and it will never be cheaper IMHO. Source: De Beers mines diamonds at $107 per carat IIRC.

Diamonds are not like iPhones. There will not be a Moore's law for diamonds where it gets exponentially cheaper to grow diamonds. Why? There is a *speed limit* to how fast you can grow a diamond crystal. Grow it any faster and the crystal will get inclusions/microfractures in the diamond.

Yes, rubies, sapphires, emeralds and other stones can be grown in a lab as well, but not all types of gemstones can be grown. AFAIK you cannot grow lapis lazuli, jade, or tiger's eye.

Ada_Diamonds952 karma

Somewhere between 20-50 years from now. I've pulled all the public filings from all the major diamond miners and there are about 1.6Bn carats of diamonds in known reserves, while ~6Bn carats have been dug out of the Earth in the last 150 years. So we are well past 'peak diamond' at this point.

If there were a carbon tax levied on mining, the cessation of diamond mining would happen a lot sooner than otherwise.

De Beers and the other diamond miners have invested $133m in PR and lobbying to fight lab diamonds, largely unsuccessfully. I don't know what's next for them, given that De Beers announced last week that they will start to sell lab diamond jewelry.

How do I combat it? I don't need to. My clients are too smart to buy the 'fake news' that a lab diamond is 'fake.' They view grown diamonds as a paragon of human achievement and proudly tell all their friends about the origin of their diamonds as a feature, not a bug.

I'm far more supply constrained than demand constrained at this point.