- Diamonds have been used in the Stone Age to grind axes.
- Diamonds aren’t (any more) the hardest substance on earth.
- The special story behind the diamond industry, De Beers.
- Diamonds are (not) rare.
- Investing in diamonds is a good idea.
1. The use of diamonds 4500 years ago
Diamonds came into the world in India where they were gathered along riverbeds. According to some historians, all diamonds in India were traded since the fourth century BC. Throughout history diamonds came, together with other exotic merchandise, to Western Europe via trade caravans that traveled between India and Venice. Early 14th century, diamonds were already known as fashion accessories to the European elite. Peter Lu, a physicist at Harvard, showed that even in the Stone Age diamonds were used by Chinese to grind axes.
2. Diamonds are (not) the hardest substance on earth
Diamond is known as the hardest material in the world. It is mainly used to cut other hard materials (like other diamonds), because you can only cut hard materials with the same material or with another one which is harder. The problem with diamond is that it will become a softer material at 800°C. In 2005, physicists managed to heat up some carbon molecules, so that a series of interconnected ADN’s (Aggregated Carbon Nanorods or “hyper diamond”) emerged. These are about 11 times harder than a diamond.
3. The unique story of De Beers
In just 22 years the Briton Cecil Rhodes started up the mining company De Beers, which controlled the diamond trade completely. De Beers had a monopoly on the diamond industry for a long time and is the creator of the immortal slogan “A diamond is forever”.
4. Are diamonds rare?
Although diamond production has increased in recent years, there is only 500 tons of diamonds that is recovered in the course of history. 15 to 20 percent of the diamonds that are found now is suitable for setting in a piece of jewellery. The mining of diamonds is still very complicated, despite all the modern techniques. There has to be processed over six tons of rough stones to win one gram of rough diamond. In addition to its rarity, this determines the high value of the diamond.
5. Investing in diamonds: a good idea?
Investing in diamonds is recommended for a diversified investment portfolio with a varied spread risk. Especially gold is known as a safe have and diamonds are usually overlooked as an alternative and safe investment.
Read more about investing in diamonds:
BNT Diamonds advises potential investors about suitable investment diamonds.