The Physics
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Price of Diamond

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Post, Jeffrey E. The National Gem Collection. New York: Harry N. Abrams Inc. 1997: 53. "In 1987, for example, a red diamond sold at auction for almost a million dollars pre carat, and recently a 13.44-carat deep blue sold for $550,000 per carat. By comparison, a flawless,colorless diamond might sell for $25,000 to $50,000 per carat, depending on size and cut" $2,750,000/g
Matlins, AntoinetteJewelry & Gems At Auction. Woodstock: Gemstone Press, 2002. [Table, Range $28,000, single carat stone-$202,800, three carat stone] $140,000- $338,000/g
The Rapaport Diamond Price Sheet. New York: 16, May 2004. [Table, Range $17,300 (IF quality D color)-$900 (I3 quality M color) per carat] $86,500- $4,500/g
Diamond Price Calculator. AM-Diamonds. [Table, Range $17,000 (IF quality D color)-$900 (I3 quality M color) per carat GIA Certified diamonds] $85,000-$4,500/g
Liddicoat, Richard T. The Jewelers' Manual. Gemological Institute of America. 1967: 281. "Jonker Diamond. A fine quality, 726-carat diamond found in South Africa in 1934. It was purchased by the Diamond Producers' Association for $315,000 and later sold to Harry Winston, New York City gem dealer, for a reported $700,000. After cutting by Lazare Kaplan, of New York, a marquise and eleven emerald cuts resulted. The largest stone, the Jonker, was a 66-facet emerald cut that weighed 142.90 carats; later it was recut to 125.65 carats and 58 facets. After being owned briefly by King Farouk of Egypt (when its estimated value was $1,000,000), it became the property of Queen Ratna, of Nepal." $2,169-4,820/g
(1934 pre-cut)
(1934 post-cut)
"Jubilee Diamond. A 650.80 carat African diamond, found in 1895. It was named in honor of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, in 1897. It was cut into a 245.35-carat cushion shaped brilliant of excellent quality and exhibited in Paris in 1900. Thereafter, it was owned by an Indian industrialist and a London firm. Since 1937, the gem has been the property of Paul-Louis Weiller, of Paris, who loaned it to the Smithsonian Institution in 1961 for display. Its present value is estimated to be $1,500,000." $6,114/g

Diamonds may last forever, but their prices change almost weekly.

A diamond is valued by 4 things, color, clarity, cut and, carat weight.

Jewelers like Dennis Marlow of Solitaire Creations, Inc use the Rapaport Diamond Price sheet to price their diamonds. This weekly price list reflects the wholesale price of diamonds sold in the Diamond District of New York City. The list takes into consideration the size, the color and the quality of the diamond. The shape is assumed to be round. Cut quality is not reflected in the pricing, however.

Fancy colored diamonds, such as red, blue and yellow diamonds, are priced separately from the traditional colorless type. They usually bring high extremely high prices, due to their rarity. 10.06 carat, VS2 quality, brilliant cut diamonds have sold at auctions for $26,280 per gram. ($52,875) Fancy Red diamonds have sold for more than $3,900,000 per gram.

Famous diamonds, such as the Kohinoor Diamond and the Hope diamond will fetch commanding prices if offered for sale, due to their prominence.

Unusual shapes may also alter the pricing. Older style cuts, such as the old mine cut and the old European cuts and the rose cut may not be as desirable as the brilliant round cut.

DeBeers, the diamond cartel, controls two-thirds of the world's diamond trade. They buy a majority of the world's raw diamonds directly from the mines. They then sell to select, authorized "sight holders" (major diamond cutting firms). The price is fixed and non-negotiable. Even diamonds that are not marketed by DeBeers follows their pricing.

Leo Tam -- 2004