Women and diamonds - Adornment or investment?

Zsa Zsa Gabor, a famous Hungarian-American actress and a socialite, once said, “I have never hated a man enough to give him his diamonds back.” And it is true that a woman’s  love for this sparkling gem is world renowned.

Diamonds are a woman’s best friend and always manage to take her breath away. Those who don’t own it dream of owning one someday, while those who already own a few stones won’t hesitate to own more. Why women love diamonds? It could be because of the kind of effort and time that goes into crafting and creating them. And also because of the cost and precious value  attached to diamonds.

While we prefer not to think of diamonds in terms of their retail value, and almost never associate them as an investment, if you look at the returns they have given, it might give us a clearer picture of how we can value ‘our best friend’. Diamonds have given consistent upward returns from 1960 onwards and the increase has been much more from  2000.

We all love diamonds, and if we keep few things in our mind while buying them, we surely will earn better returns on our investment. Things to keep in mind include:

Checking the 4 Cs: While buying diamonds, you should access the quality of diamonds using 4cs methodology — Colour, Clarity, Cut, and Carat weight.

Colour: With diamond, colour actually means its ‘lack’ of colour. A structurally perfect diamond has no colour. One can check the grading of the diamonds on the Colour Grading Scale or Whiteness Scale. The whiter the diamond the greater is its value.
Clarity: Clarity is the diamond’s ability to let in light and reflect its brilliance or in other words the absence of inclusions and blemishes. Opt for Flawless (FL), VVS1,2(Very, Very Slightly Included), VS1,2(Very Slightly Included) clarity. Better the clarity, higher the value of the diamond.

Cut: Cut is one of the most important factors. Better the cut, higher will be diamond’s ability to deliver the magnificent return of light. You should check the cut on Cut Grading scale, because a poorly cut diamond will seem dull even if it has excellent clarity and colour.

Carat weight: A carat is the unit of weight for diamond. This factor merely denotes the size of diamond by weight.

Go for a certified diamond: A diamond certificate points out all the characteristics of the stone and details, its exact measurement and weight, as well as the details about its cut, clarity, colour, polish, symmetry, and quality. A diamond is normally certified through a grading report which is guaranteed by an accredited gem lab. This report assures the customer that the diamond possesses all the qualities and features as described in the report. Popular labs that certify diamonds and gemstones are:

1. Gemmological Institute of America (GIA)
2. International Gemmological Institute (IGI)
3. European Gemmological Laboratory – USA (EGL—USA)
4. American Gem Society Laboratories (AGSL)

Checking the jeweller’s buyback policy: Buyback policy of diamonds will differ from jeweller to jeweller. So, it makes sense to check about your jeweller’s buyback policy even if you don’t have any intention of selling, just in case for a rainy day.

nHeirloom jewellery: Heirlooms are unique antique pieces of jewellery that have  been passed down for generations through family members. It has more value due to its uniqueness and its craftsmanship which is no longer available today.

nBuying stocks of diamond companies: This is another way of investing in  diamonds. If you think that diamonds are the next big thing in terms of investment but don’t want to indulge in physical diamonds due to security reasons, you can always buy the stocks of the companies that are into this business. If the prices of diamonds move up, these stocks prices will automatically go up  in accordance with the diamond prices.

(The writer is Managing Director at Sinhasi Consultants)

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