The engagement ring is a tradition that dates back to Roman times. At that time, the ring represented both hands clamped to one another. This symbol originates from the Italian term "mani in fede". At the time of dowries and gifts exchanges, it meant that a contract was concluded. Today, rings come in all shapes and sizes. The ring topped with a diamond is a good example.
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The use of diamond in the manufacturing of an engagement ring was popularized in the eighteenth century, following the discovery of diamonds in South Africa. In 1888, the De Beers Company has made every effort to acquire the majority of the production of this raw gemstone. It took a century to monopolize the market and control the price of diamonds.
De Beers embarked on an extensive companion to value this precious stone and make it one of the most popular marriage related subjects. In 1947, its advertising campaign conveyed a strong, new idea: the purity and strength of the diamond are associated with the eternal notion of love and sincerity of feelings. The slogan said "A diamond is forever".
Evaluating a diamond
Before choosing an engagement ring with a diamond, it is advisable to consider the 4C’s: Cut, Carat, Clarity and Color. Cut refers to the cutting of the stone. When it is perfectly cut, light is reflected from one facet to another and breaks down the color of that light.
The weight is expressed in carats. 1 carat is equal to 0.20 g and 1 carat can be divided into 100 points. A diamond of 0.75 point equals ¾ carat.
The clarity of a diamond is assessed by the presence or absence of defects. The less defaults, the more value.
Regarding color, the assessment is made on a scale from D to Z. The D diamond is colorless and the most valuable.
Increase of diamond prices in 2015
The price of diamonds is bound to increase in the coming years. While many predict the end of the reign of gold as a safe haven, investors are turning more and more towards precious stones including diamonds.
Investors need a secure value for their investment. Gold has played this role at all times, but the gold market has become too versatile. They need a product whose price is strong enough to withstand the various economic shocks. This product could be diamond. Featuring an intrinsic value owing its beauty and rarity, it is not influenced by geopolitical conflicts, politics, or by crises.
Its price is bound to increase at a steady pace in the coming years making it a long-term investment. This year, professionals expect an increase of 3 to 4%. This trend is driven by an ever increasing strong demand.
The most interesting part is the one of emerging markets, especially China, second in the world diamond market. In ten years, China's enthusiasm for diamonds has grown considerably. This is the result of the improved living standards of Chinese middle class. To illustrate this, more and more couples are buying diamond engagement rings. China constitutes 13% of the world market and the margin of increase is even greater, as only 20% of city dwellers have a diamond, as De Beers believes, against 70% in the United States. At the current progression rate, the Chinese market could overtake that of the United States in about fifteen years.
Diamond is more than ever a safe haven, not only because the demand is increasing, but also because production is waning. According to analysts, peak production was reached in 2006 and the new deposits are scarce.