“Aren’t gemstones just a cheaper alternative to diamonds?” Nothing could be further from the truth!
Rare yellow beryl and blue paraiba tourmaline rings from Eva's collection.
You've heard the phrase “a diamond is forever”... it was part of a widespread marketing campaign in the 1940s to promote diamond engagement rings at a time when diamonds weren’t nearly as popular.
The company behind the push was De Beers, which controlled the global supply of rough diamonds and has had a questionable reputation ever since.
The ad slogan ‘A Diamond Is Forever’ cleverly implies that diamonds cannot break or be damaged and will last forever like the marriage that follows. It implies that they are somehow very rare.
The reality is that diamonds aren’t forever if not properly looked after, they aren’t truly rare, and young women around the world are starting to realise that the diamond is not as sacred as it once was.
Diamonds in fact have atomic weak points - an inherent structural weakness - and can crack when hitting a hard surface at the right angle.
So, do not casually leave your diamond ring on the edge of your bathtub when you have a stone bathroom floor…
Moreover, diamonds up to 3 or 4 carats of average quality (and the majority of diamond jewellery consists of average quality diamonds) are not rare at all.
In fact, there are more than enough diamonds in global stock to satisfy demand, but companies like De Beers control prices, keep them artificially high and create demand by hoarding stones off the market.
Compare this to coloured gemstones...
Real special stones like green tsavorite garnets, sapphires, spinels and tourmalines are objectively more rare in the earth than diamonds, and because of a fragmented industry, are limited to centuries-old, small family businesses who mine them.
This means they don’t have powerful institutions supporting them nor can afford the marketing tools the diamond industry has always had.
1940's ads played into gender stereotypes that convinced women that every proposal needed a diamond.
Also keep in mind that colour stones are rare, but ‘fine quality’ coloured gemstones (which have fantastic brilliance, luster, hardness, toughness and come in bigger sizes) are even rarer.
Exceptional gemstones, like spinels, can sell for more than $10,000 per carat… and can be found in historic crown jewels of emperors and royalty across the world.
Another thing to be aware of is that virtually all gemstones, including diamonds, can be treated today - except for a few coloured gemstones which basically become uglier when treated.
Some of these treatments are fully acceptable in the market as long as you're aware of the treatment and are willing to accept and pay for it.
The diamond marketing machine has done such a good job that people seem to forget their common sense when buying diamonds and also fall for stones like ‘black diamonds’ or ‘champagne coloured’ diamonds for crazy prices without asking any questions.
If they were to ask questions, they would learn that black diamonds are often heavily treated and literally worthless and that ‘champagne coloured’ is a nice word for brownish diamonds which are much lower in value than the good white or colourless diamond.
A new threat to today’s diamond industry is the rise of synthetic diamonds, meaning man-made diamonds.
Synthetic diamonds are extremely hard to spot without expensive lab testing which makes it even harder for the average buyer to know what they’re really paying for.
I am not saying that coloured gemstones cannot have treatments (because they can) or don’t appear in synthetic form (because some do) but I am saying that you should not treat diamonds as sacred or buy the marketing story surrounding diamonds without doing any research.
There’s a reason why coloured gemstones are making a huge comeback in the US and Europe. Women today are more informed, individualistic, and care a great deal about how their goods are sourced. When compared to colourless diamonds, coloured gemstones are:
- Endlessly diverse in their colours
- More individualistic (and daring)
- More authentic
- Equal or higher in quality for a fairer price
Women often ask me why gemstones are better than diamonds and my answer is simply this - high quality gemstones are the new diamonds.
They’re the stones that will give you the quality, value, brilliance, rarity and feeling of indulgent luxury you’re looking for.