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The Secret is Out: Colored Gemstones are More Rare and a Better Value Than Diamonds

We’ve all heard that diamonds are the go-to for engagement rings, anniversary jewelry, etc, right?

But why is that? What has made diamonds so unique and essential in our modern society? Is it a holdover from our ancestors, both ancient and within a few hundred years? Or is it because of clever marketing and market takeovers?

If you really stop to look at all the options, colored gemstones are actually a better value for your money than diamonds and are much rarer!

So, let’s take a look at where that myth came from and what that means for you. We will also take a look at how vital experience and connections are when choosing a jeweler for your new colored gemstone pieces.


How the Diamond Became so Popular

It used to be that rubies and sapphires were the most popular gemstones for engagement rings. Diamonds were considered luxury items. In the 1870s, large diamond mines were discovered in South Africa. Knowing that the value of diamonds would drop if the world market was flooded, De Beers Consolidated Mines, Ltd was created, and a whole new strategy was launched.

De Beers took control of the majority of the mines and started stockpiling rough diamonds, driving the price up. But more was needed to sell diamonds the way they wanted.

A new marketing strategy really drove sales up and created the current obsession with diamonds that we can still see today. De Beers created ads with the message that diamonds were the ultimate symbol of love and that engagement rings needed a diamond. The ads didn't sell diamonds; they sold the emotional value of diamonds.

This narrative was pushed using ads and stories of celebrities and their diamond rings. It played on the emotions of the American public and pushed the idea that diamonds were accessible for everyday people and even necessary for a happy marriage.

diamonds scattered on flat surface

How Rare Are Diamonds?

De Beers still controls a portion of the diamond supply, as high as thirty-five to forty percent of the world’s supply. The company also keeps a large inventory of rough diamonds in storage, regardless of the country where the diamonds are mined or the current market rate for diamonds.

With one company holding so much of the available inventory, that can drive up the price and ultimately demand for diamonds. Add that to their impressive marketing strategy; the illusion that diamonds are rare has become the norm.

But if you look at the rarity of all gemstones together, diamonds are actually fairly common. This is partially due to the push of the last century to mine them but also because diamonds are relatively common because of how they are formed. Diamonds are crystallized carbon that has been hardened and formed over billions and millions of years. Carbon is a widespread element and was even more so when the Earth was being formed and throughout its billions of years.

That means that diamonds are more common than other gems that are made of different elements.

Colored Gemstones: The Better Value

When it comes to pricing, colored gemstones are a better monetary value for their size. You can buy a much larger version of a sapphire, ruby, or emerald for the cost of a much smaller diamond. This refers directly to the cataracts and the overall weight of the colored gemstones.

This also applies to the color of the gemstone and diamond; you can get a much better hue in a colored gemstone than the same clarity on a diamond.

This isn’t to say that you aren’t going to pay top dollar for a quality colored gemstone, but you will end up paying much more for a diamond.

Types of Colored Gemstones

There are many colored gemstones out there, much rarer than diamonds! Several of those include:

● Emeralds

● Ruby

● Sapphire

● Tanzanite

● Jadeite

● Alexandrite

● Pearls, all colors

● Red Beryl

Many of us are familiar with emerald, ruby, and sapphire stones, but some of them aren’t going to be as familiar. Let’s explore jadeite and alexandrite as diamond alternatives.

Jadeite is the more scientific name for one of the most well-known stones of ancient and modern China, jade. Jade is highly prized for its dark to milky green hues and is used in various purposes, including in jewelry. It does actually come in other colors, although green is the highest prized and typically the most expensive. One of the reasons this gemstone is rarer than diamond is because there are limited sources, and not much jade is used specifically for jewelry.

Alexandrite is an amazing gem that changes color! Depending on the light that the gem is under, whether natural or fluorescent, the gem can look green all the way to red or purple. This beautiful gem has been discovered in several locations worldwide but is mainly concentrated in Russia and Brazil. Since there are so few mines and ethical mining methods, obtaining Alexandrite is much harder to do then

It’s important to note that, although colored gemstones will be cheaper and higher quality than diamonds, they aren’t all suited to be made into everyday jewelry. It’s best to consult with your jeweler about your lifestyle and expectations for your jewelry so you can get the right fit!

a jewelry professional sorting out emeralds and sapphires to grade them

Linda’s Network and Experience

Many customers are concerned with sustainability, overall cost, and monetary value when purchasing or designing new jewelry. Carats and Stones upholds the best standards for these values, and we have multiple methods to source the best-colored gemstones globally.

Linda utilizes only the best gemstone sources and is connected worldwide. These connections, developed over forty years of business, allow her to buy directly from the gem cutters in the best places. By buying from the gem cutters, instead of buying the colored gemstones rough or raw, Linda knows the provenance of her gems. This is also more sustainable than buying raw gemstones since there can be ethical issues with rough or raw sources.

Her connections are so extensive that it’s rumored that she has been able to source crown jewels for the right price and for that special project! (Ask her about the story; it’s an amazing tale and one worth listening to!)

When designing a new jewelry piece with colored gemstones, it’s essential that the colors match. For example, if you want a blue or green hue in earring gems, it can be difficult to match colors if you buy from one source to another. This is why letting Linda and her staff match your gemstones will get precisely what you want within the price point you expect.

Get Started with Carats and Stones

Interested in finding out what’s possible with colored gemstones? Just ask Linda - within what you want and your budget, the sky is the limit!

Our newest shopping appointments will make your experience even more special! Choose from forty-five to 120-minute appointments where Caracts and Stones provide our jewelry experts (Linda herself is an option!) for consultations and try-on sessions, a High-Tea or Charcuterie experience, bring a friend, and much more.

Discover why four generations of jewelry connoisseurs shop with Caracts and Stones! Book your special appointment today.


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