As with any precious metal or stone, rarity is the principal indicator of worth. The more rare the material, the greater its perceived value, hence the more extortionate the price.
Diamonds are more expensive than gold, even though they are far less rare than gold. In order to mine enough gold to make an impact on the market, the concentration of gold deposits within the earth’s crust would have to increase by 1,250.
It is the delicate and oftentimes unsuccessful process of forming and mining diamonds from the very common element, carbon, which lends to their allure.
Rankings Among Precious Materials
On a list of the 17 most expensive materials on earth, research by Brightside lists gold at number 15, the antepenultimate most expensive.
Diamonds place third on the list, only less expensive than Californium, a pure metal, and Antimatter.
Plutonium, the horn of a rhinoceros, rhodium, platinum (the most valuable metal) and saffron add to a most interesting catalogue.
How Are Diamonds Valued?
Diamonds became popular and gained increasing commercial appeal from the luxury jewellery design market.
They are valued based on four main attributes, termed “the 4Cs”. This refers to cut, clarity, color and carat (weight), and a high-score combination of these three characteristics could result in quite an exorbitant purchase.
Each category comprises several classifications such as how the diamond reflects light, or the best shape, which further determine a diamond’s value. An excellent cut diamond which is colorless and flawless might potentially cost multiples of one which is slightly colored with a good cut and with some imperfections on the surface.
Based on the foregoing, a one-carat diamond can be priced anywhere from a few thousand dollars up to tens of thousands. One gram of diamonds is about five carats, hence the importance of weight being factored into its asking price.
Certification is also a critical point which influences the value of a diamond. Not only does this prove authenticity of the jewel, in some cases, it also differentiates naturally sourced diamonds from their lab created counterparts.
The Gemological Institute of America, the GIA, is one of the bodies which sets the standards for quality grades of diamonds.
Gold is a form of currency in a free market economy. This means that a price is assigned to it, it is traded, and the value fluctuates proportionate to other currencies. Gold is not used as a means of payment, however, it can be easily converted to cash in a short turnaround.
In addition to its use as investment and for jewelry, gold is also used in the manufacturing of certain electrical components as well as some medical devices.
Whereas diamonds are measured by weight, gold is measured by purity and also in karats. The purest form of gold is 24 karat, however, during the jewelry making process, metal is usually added to bolster the gold. Purest gold is too soft for this purpose.
Gold jewelry is valued by the ratio of gold to metal which goes into creating the specific piece. One karat is equivalent to 1/24th of the unit hence a 14-karat gold piece can be assumed to be only 14 units of pure gold and 10 parts of metal.
Mining production and investment requirements as well as demand for gold jewelry, are three powerful elements which drive the price of gold.
The price of gold has soared over the past few decades, appreciating almost 450% in the last decade alone.
Which is the Better Investment?
Purchasing gold or diamonds is a sure-fire investment utility in the present in order to create future wealth. As an option to cash or stocks, precious minerals and stones have proven more stable in terms of returns for investors.
Historically, when market volatility or other factors such as recession, natural disasters or wars negatively impact cash or other investments, precious materials hold more sway in terms of confidence for investors.
The price and value of gold usually has an inverse relationship with economic crises. However, owing to its implicit dependence on stock market performance and its ties to currency, gold value tends to fluctuate much more than diamonds. Still, it is one of the most common safe haven assets in the United States.
Diamonds are thought to consistently appreciate in value. The quality of the diamond reflects its worth so if one acquires a rock with the highest standards of the 4Cs, and it is kept in pristine condition, undoubtedly its value will increase.
The demand for diamonds has soared in recent years and it is predicted that this trend will continue. In this vein, one can be assured that there will always be a market for these gems.
The decision to invest in diamonds or gold is one which should be thoroughly researched in order to understand all the implications. Comparing both investment options would be like comparing apples to pears as the nature of the investment and corresponding value is vastly different for each.
Sourcing a flawless diamond means an investment in a high quality and rare product, one which is valued to a high standard. Gold, on the other hand, represents an investment in a commodity, which can have implications based on several factors which are not usually within the investor’s control. It is, however, much easier to liquidate.
While gold is a traded commodity, the same is not true of diamonds. There are no two diamonds which are exactly alike so their value increases the more rare the gem. This can be good or bad depending on who determines the resale value.
Experts do not deign to compare diamonds against gold. One can invest in gold and reap returns as the value fluctuates over time; its value determined by supply and demand as well as stock market movement.
As much as these factors could result in positive returns on investment, they also mean that the value of gold is controlled by external factors which could also have the opposite effect.
Although diamonds are generally deemed more an emotional investment, they could appreciate to an incalculable value over time once the diamond is well kept. The sparkle factor is therefore not to be underestimated.
Other practical matters such as ease of transport and storage would push diamonds to the top of the list among high value future wealth options.
Diamonds are, ultimately, more than a girl’s best friend.