Money over Matter: Our Obsession with Diamonds

Elegant diamondIf you want your diamond to last forever, keep it close and personal. And never, ever let it out of sight. That’s because they keep on disappearing throughout history. One minute it’s on your finger; the next minute, it’s gone – just ask Mrs. West.

Kim Kardashian’s lasted just 4 days

Just four days after worldwide celebrity Kim Kardashian posted her massive diamond ring on Twitter, it was gone. On the day of posting, it had garnered more than 16,000 retweets and nearly 50,000 likes, as well as the attention of would-be robbers. As everyone later learned from headlines across all media, Parisian robbers made away with a loot valued millions, and perhaps most importantly, her promise of love from her husband Kanye West – the diamond. It probably cost her a few (non-reality TV) tears too.

The Pink Star Diamond sold in 5 minutes

Despite a mind-blowing price tag of $71.2 million, it only took five minutes of bidding before a buyer closed the auction of the Pink Star Diamond at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in April this year. Mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999, the 59.6 carat beauty set a new world-record price for a gemstone.

So how long do diamonds really last?

Diamonds are the stuff pencil tips are made of — graphite. The difference is that the atom structure within a diamond is much stronger and stable. However, the atoms will rearrange themselves and degrade into the lower energy structure of pencil graphite. Under normal conditions, such as being worn on a ring finger, the material will take millions of years to degrade.

If diamonds really do last forever, wouldn’t that be bad for business? Not necessarily. According to a U.S. government website, with all 49 states and D.C. reporting data, there has been over 2 million marriages a year since 2000. The statistics imply a robust market for wedding jewelry; you only need to make the couples walk into your store. Or rather, get them to click on your online store – with a little help from search engine optimization for jewelers, of course.