- Nov 2, 2003
Point taken, thank you.I think it depends on how you frame 'rare' and where on the line from 'newly discovered' to 'exhausted resource' you are.
Oil is (apparently) a limited resource, but do we call it rare? Not right now.
Likewise, Helium is a limited resource, but do we call it rare and value it highly, retaining as much as we can? No, instead we offload it to the markets at a low price, who then sell it for pennies, allowing it to be wasted on nonsense such as helium balloons that entertain children before the gas escapes from the balloon into the atmosphere, to be lost into space forever
When the oil runs out (if ever) we can expect people to value it more highly and prices rise.
Likewise, when we are struggling to get together enough Helium to cool the MRI machines that we rely on in medicine and just take for granted right now, we will hopefully value it more highly.
Diamonds, though...? Millions of carats per year mined (AIUI), millions of carats still in existence since being mined (and likely to continue existing), prices manipulated upwards historically through restriction of such plentiful supply and monopolisation of the market and control of vendors...
Arguably they are not really that rare when considered with that view but yes, they may well be a limited resource. Like oil, we don't really know, but as an ultimately unnecessary luxury item of bodily adornment, it doesn't really matter whether they are cheap and plentiful or expensive and rare
I do know that the famous Argyle mine will be depleted very soon, so the highly prized pinks will have to come from another source!