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Why colored gems are rare and diamonds are not

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Shiny_Rock
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I think the points being made by Garry are primarily the following:

1) Diamonds are rarer in nature, than say, beryls
2) Diamonds are more common in *society* due to the profit motive and efforts put into finding them, and the marketing feedback loop that paints them as desirable

I'll toss on the following... LilAlex made a point about petroleum scarcity/pricing earlier...

The irony of that analogy is that several decades ago, many an 'expert' felt we were at "peak oil," and that there was no more to be found. Such was the demand and profit motive that the efforts put towards exploration and extraction and technology came together to blow those estimates of old out of the water. We're not at peak oil after all... and may *never* be there, so much has been found (and presumably is still to be found).

Diamonds for better or worse have that kind of energy and expenditure (ok not quite that level) behind their exploration and extraction. Rubies do not, because the profit motive isn't quite there. No one knows what a global multi-billion effort to exploit ruby deposits would look like because it just hasn't happened. But Garry's argument is that if such an effort were in fact to get underway, the carat weight per earth-tons moved would be a higher yield for rubies than for diamonds.

None of that is to speak to whether the pricing for diamonds hasn't benefited from said marketing... but that the stores that don't stock zircon rings, part of that is doubtless in part because in an average week, exactly zero people come in asking for a zircon.
 

Pysix

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I think the points being made by Garry are primarily the following:

1) Diamonds are rarer in nature, than say, beryls
2) Diamonds are more common in *society* due to the profit motive and efforts put into finding them, and the marketing feedback loop that paints them as desirable

I'll toss on the following... LilAlex made a point about petroleum scarcity/pricing earlier...

The irony of that analogy is that several decades ago, many an 'expert' felt we were at "peak oil," and that there was no more to be found. Such was the demand and profit motive that the efforts put towards exploration and extraction and technology came together to blow those estimates of old out of the water. We're not at peak oil after all... and may *never* be there, so much has been found (and presumably is still to be found).

Diamonds for better or worse have that kind of energy and expenditure (ok not quite that level) behind their exploration and extraction. Rubies do not, because the profit motive isn't quite there. No one knows what a global multi-billion effort to exploit ruby deposits would look like because it just hasn't happened. But Garry's argument is that if such an effort were in fact to get underway, the carat weight per earth-tons moved would be a higher yield for rubies than for diamonds.

None of that is to speak to whether the pricing for diamonds hasn't benefited from said marketing... but that the stores that don't stock zircon rings, part of that is doubtless in part because in an average week, exactly zero people come in asking for a zircon.

I think if equal resources were put into mining rubies we would still have a higher yield of gem quality diamond. A much smaller percentage of ruby passes for gem quality than diamond. Even if this is false for rubies it’s true for many other colored gemstones so once again Gary’s original argument doesn’t really hold water.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Please open to see the discussion:

I think the points being made by Garry are primarily the following:

1) Diamonds are rarer in nature, than say, beryls
2) Diamonds are more common in *society* due to the profit motive and efforts put into finding them, and the marketing feedback loop that paints them as desirable
Thanks, perfect summary
I'll toss on the following... LilAlex made a point about petroleum scarcity/pricing earlier...

The irony of that analogy is that several decades ago, many an 'expert' felt we were at "peak oil," and that there was no more to be found. Such was the demand and profit motive that the efforts put towards exploration and extraction and technology came together to blow those estimates of old out of the water. We're not at peak oil after all... and may *never* be there, so much has been found (and presumably is still to be found).
I studies geology in the early 1970's and that was the great fear - cars going nowhere unless you had $1M for fuel. Interestingly I feel exactly the same way about CO2 and global warming - it is just a tech problem that is going to be solved and create wonderful new industries and careers.
Diamonds for better or worse have that kind of energy and expenditure (ok not quite that level) behind their exploration and extraction. Rubies do not, because the profit motive isn't quite there. No one knows what a global multi-billion effort to exploit ruby deposits would look like because it just hasn't happened. But Garry's argument is that if such an effort were in fact to get underway, the carat weight per earth-tons moved would be a higher yield for rubies than for diamonds.
Yes
None of that is to speak to whether the pricing for diamonds hasn't benefited from said marketing... but that the stores that don't stock zircon rings, part of that is doubtless in part because in an average week, exactly zero people come in asking for a zircon. Sadly I feel if it were not for Cubic Zirconia, I feel many more people would share my love of Zircon.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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I think if equal resources were put into mining rubies we would still have a higher yield of gem quality diamond. A much smaller percentage of ruby passes for gem quality than diamond. Even if this is false for rubies it’s true for many other colored gemstones so once again Gary’s original argument doesn’t really hold water.
The vast majority of mined diamonds are industrial, a lot are near gem and only because Argyle helped Indian cutters with new scaife technology to cut them into gems.
As little as 30% of some rubies are ruby with the rest being glass Pysix - I see bags you could not lift at trade shows.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Yup. Most gems are far more plentiful than diamonds. Even without being very expensive.
Very rare gems are less rare than very rare coloured diamonds.

The point is the myth is a myth.
Did you read ghe gemsoc article.with my rebuttals?
There are other versions of that myth written over the decades.
No substance.
Myth Busters!
 

VividRed

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What an Interesting thread!

@Garry H (Cut Nut) hi Garry. I understand your argument but one point remains open: we do not know how much gem quality ruby (or emerald, alexandrite, you name it) there is in the earth’s crust. We might never know unless public taste significantly shifts towardS colored gems. The jury is still out!
 

PrecisionGem

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So Gary, are you saying that if the roughly 2 million people in the US who get engaged every year all decided they wanted a tsavorite garnet rather than a Diamond ring, that there would be enough tsavorite to go around to make all these rings, plus all other Diamond jewelry sold that year? Please answer.
 

fredflintstone

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So Gary, are you saying that if the roughly 2 million people in the US who get engaged every year all decided they wanted a tsavorite garnet rather than a Diamond ring, that there would be enough tsavorite to go around to make all these rings, plus all other Diamond jewelry sold that year? Please answer.

Or the following top gem quality not including the big three as compared to colorless Diamonds H/D SI/flawless. Because all things being relative, the below stones must be eye clean to flawless and uniform color as the above Diamonds are all uniformly cololess. (I know, spank my hands)


Indicolite
Rubellite
Bi-Color Tourmaline
Chrome Tourmaline
Pad Colored Tourmaline
Seafoam Tourmaline
Red Spinel
Cobalt Blue Spinel
Pad Colored Spinel
Orange Spinel
Hot Pink Spinel
Mandarin Spessartite Garnet
Top Red/Orange Spessartite Garnet
Mali Garnet
Chrome Green Mali Garnet
Neon Purple Garnet
Imperial Malaia Garnet
Demantoid
CC Garnet
Chrysoberyl
Vanadium Chrysoberyl
Red Zircon
Imperial Zircon
Green Zircon
Purple Zircon
Mandarin Orange Zircon...

...and I'm not even mentioning the super rare colored gemstones or ones under 7 hardiness.

Btw, Garry, your Amethyst chart is for all practical purposes a worthless generalization, as we are speaking gem quality stones, not mineral specimens, geodes (last time I knew Diamonds did not come in Geodes). Amethyst heated to create Citrine, Praisiolite. All the paler shades of Amethyst. What about the top 10th of one percent Tanzanite like Amethyst, Red Amethyst...?
 
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Garry H (Cut Nut)

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What an Interesting thread!

@Garry H (Cut Nut) hi Garry. I understand your argument but one point remains open: we do not know how much gem quality ruby (or emerald, alexandrite, you name it) there is in the earth’s crust. We might never know unless public taste significantly shifts towardS colored gems. The jury is still out!
Yes. Precisely my point.
For hard tough gems you can find them in streams. Prospectors start looking for one tiny under 1mm diamond. Then work upstream until they find associated minerals. Diopsude piclillminites pyroxenes. They then know they are close. Maybe 20km away they find the volcanic pipe.
For softer gems this does not work so other techniques must be used. But I am not aware anyone ever uses associated minerals in the search for rare gems. They should be trying it.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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So Gary, are you saying that if the roughly 2 million people in the US who get engaged every year all decided they wanted a tsavorite garnet rather than a Diamond ring, that there would be enough tsavorite to go around to make all these rings, plus all other Diamond jewelry sold that year? Please answer.

Read my previous post. Maybe all thise listed gems could do with some real scientific searching.
And BTW a lot of other gems are found as by products of diamonds during the final heavy dense media seperation.
Maybe you guys should be sorting thru the gang.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Or the following top gem quality not including the big three as compared to colorless Diamonds H/D SI/flawless. Because all things being relative, the below stones must be eye clean to flawless and uniform color as the above Diamonds are all uniformly cololess. (I know, spank my hands)


Indicolite
Rubellite
Bi-Color Tourmaline
Chrome Tourmaline
Pad Colored Tourmaline
Seafoam Tourmaline
Red Spinel
Cobalt Blue Spinel
Pad Colored Spinel
Orange Spinel
Hot Pink Spinel
Mandarin Spessartite Garnet
Top Red/Orange Spessartite Garnet
Mali Garnet
Chrome Green Mali Garnet
Neon Purple Garnet
Imperial Malaia Garnet
Demantoid
CC Garnet
Chrysoberyl
Vanadium Chrysoberyl
Red Zircon
Imperial Zircon
Green Zircon
Purple Zircon
Mandarin Orange Zircon...

...and I'm not even mentioning the super rare colored gemstones or ones under 7 hardiness.

Btw, Garry, your Amethyst chart is for all practical purposes a worthless generalization, as we are speaking gem quality stones, not mineral specimens, geodes (last time I knew Diamonds did not come in Geodes). Amethyst heated to create Citrine, Praisiolite. All the paler shades of Amethyst. What about the top 10th of one percent Tanzanite like Amethyst, Red Amethyst...?

What about the top 1% of diamonds? $1,000,000 per carat pink diamond rough?
 

fredflintstone

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What about the top 1% of diamonds? $1,000,000 per carat pink diamond rough?
Garry, you would make a hell of a politician. You sure you’re not?? Exceptionally good at deflecting direct questions you cannot answer. Fortunately, many can read through your rhetoric.

You started this thread. You said, "Diamonds are thousands of times rarer than colored gems." You did not say Pink Diamonds are thousands of times rarer. You did not say colored Diamonds are thousands of times rarer. You meant colorless Diamonds as you made clear later in other posts. I already said colored Diamonds are among the rarest of stones. I'll even go as far to say with a handful of exceptions, they are the rarest of stones in intense and vivid saturation. Intense or vivid reds may well be the rarest of all stones. But that is not we are talking about, are we?

But, no problem, you have put a smile on my face and kudos to you for that! I do not wish you ill will. I wish you success in your business affairs, but surely, you have better things to do than to hang around here and argue with us colored gmstone nuts, as you are very busy and have better things to do, right?
 
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Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Garry, you would make a hell of a politician. You sure you’re not?? Exceptionally good at deflecting direct questions you cannot answer. Fortunately, many can read through your rhetoric.

You started this thread. You said, "Diamonds are thousands of times rarer than colored gems." You did not say Pink Diamonds are thousands of times rarer. You did not say colored Diamonds are thousands of times rarer. You meant colorless Diamonds as you made clear later in other posts. I already said colored Diamonds are among the rarest of stones. I'll even go as far to say with a handful of exceptions, they are the rarest of stones in intense and vivid saturation. Intense or vivid reds may well be the rarest of all stones. But that is not we are talking about, are we?

But, no problem, you have put a smile on my face and kudos to you for that! I do not wish you ill will. I wish you success in your business affairs, but surely, you have better things to do than to hang around here and argue with us colored gmstone nuts, as you are very busy and have better things to do, right?

Thanks Fred, I have learned more on PS than all the courses I have done.
I have learned more teaching gemologists and jewellers than courses.

Discussions like this where I throw a stone in a pond, and others do too, lead me to find answers, read up etc.

Diamonds are way rarer and cost more to find than all the other worlds gems and many times rarer and harder to find than most of the popular gems. It is a fact.
More money is spent prospecting for diamonds and building and operating mines than all the other gems combined. Do you disagree?
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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GIA just sent out an article on South African diamond mining.
I have used 2 different historical conversion calculators and got +US$3 million and +$1 million.
There was no De Beers for another 20 years.
There was no Maryilon Munroe, no diamonds are forever.
That is probably in the ball park of what the diamond is worth today. No wonder they created gold rush type events.
Never heard of a ruby rush?


"This discovery was treated with disbelief by most, and interest was lukewarm until 1869 when a shepherd found an enormous pebble. He first tried to trade the pebble for a place to sleep and then for breakfast. Everyone turned him down. Eventually, he made his way to the same man who first noticed Erasmus Jacobs’ shiny rock—Schalk Van Niekerk. In exchange for the pebble, Niekerk gave the shepherd a horse, 10 oxen and 500 sheep, nearly all of his earthly goods. His gamble paid off. The pebble turned out to be a South African diamond weighing 83.50 cts, and Niekerk sold it for £11,200 (equivalent to US$56,000 at the time), almost 100 times the value of what he gave the shepherd. This stone, named the Star of South Africa, made its way to England where it was cut into a 47.69 ct pear-shaped stone and purchased by the Earl of Dudley."

I also noticed how lush it is around the big hole. Rahter a different scene in large parts of Burma where there are huge areas with no topsoil for the next million years. But hey! That's another can of worms!
 

fredflintstone

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Thanks Fred, I have learned more on PS than all the courses I have done.
I have learned more teaching gemologists and jewellers than courses.

Discussions like this where I throw a stone in a pond, and others do too, lead me to find answers, read up etc.

Diamonds are way rarer and cost more to find than all the other worlds gems and many times rarer and harder to find than most of the popular gems. It is a fact.
More money is spent prospecting for diamonds and building and operating mines than all the other gems combined. Do you disagree?


LOL! Well, just keep on believing that and honking your horn. You sure don't have any proof other than colored Diamonds are amongst the very rarest stones on the planet and mining concerns do spend more money mining Diamonds than any other stone, and that is because of shrewd marketing practices that DeBeers started long ago that created a huge market for Diamonds. Not rocket science. Other than that...nothing.

You teeter back and forth keeping this thread alive. Is business that bad? Do you need to do this to reaffirm your faith, ego, superiority...? Are you so preoccupied with proving a point that you need to go on and on and on? Successful businessmen do not need to do that or have the time for a thread like this, They are too busy working and being successful. You are the only Diamond vendor I have ever seen act this way here. That speaks volumes to me.

You and I belong to that same FB group I mentioned earlier with the 22,000 plus members, and I know who you are. Yet for all your self-proclaimed patting yourself on the back here with all your self-proclaimed knowledge bequest upon us ignorant colored gemstone lovers. All your rhetoric. You are as quiet as those Diamonds so many miles below the surface there on JHJ on FB. Hardly a word from such a self-proclaimed expert as yourself, and I have looked. Nothing like being a small fish in a big pond, eh? Better to do it here where you can have you run of the forum.

I really do not enjoy typing this above, but someone has too as you've basically amounted to shoving your will down everyone’s cornea’s here. Just call it a day and say goodbye, and may the 4 C's be with you in your own little galaxy in your mind.
 

PrecisionGem

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Ok Gary, so your argument is basically this.

We don't know for sure how many gemstone deposits there are, but YOU know for sure that if one really looked hard, they would find lots more. but couldn't the same be true for you prized diamonds? Hell, if I dig deep in my back yard I could be sitting on a vast diamond mine!

So here is the reality, I have been to gem mines. Here's a photo I took at maybe the largest tsavorite operation in Tanzania. This picture is what they found in one week. In that whole pile there was not one stone that could be faceted. So they found no gem grade material that week.


Tanzania2012_8R.jpg

In that same week over 30,000 women in the USA were presented with diamond engagement rings.

So by your reasoning, this guys need to look harder, and if they did, they could find 30,000 stones. The guy in the middle manages the mine, and sells every single gem quality tsavorite as fast as they can find them. The demand far exceeds the production.

Tanzania2012_16Rp.jpg

Gary, the reality is there are millions of diamonds sold every year. If you consider something that almost every women in America and other countries own as rare, then I guess you could also say that humans are rare on this planet too.

I hope this thread helps you sell more diamonds for Mothers day, I'm sure that was your intent.
 

arkieb1

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Top colour Kashmir sapphires are mined out, and are worth more per carat than most white colourless diamonds, most clean unheated untreated top coloured Burmese rubies are also exceedingly difficult to find and are also worth more per carat than colourless diamonds, Mahenge spinels are almost mined out, they are becoming increasingly difficult to find clean and in larger sizes, cobalt spinels also much more difficult to find than colourless diamonds, cost more per carat and at a guess I'd say probably as rare if not rarer than pink diamonds so.....

IMHO many gemstones are far less common, are rarer and cost more than colourless diamonds. And a tiny few are as rare if not rarer than pink diamonds. Some fancy coloured diamonds like say reds that are untreated are rarer. I'm not sure what this whole post is trying to prove or disprove.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Top colour Kashmir sapphires are mined out, and are worth more per carat than most white colourless diamonds, most clean unheated untreated top coloured Burmese rubies are also exceedingly difficult to find and are also worth more per carat than colourless diamonds, Mahenge spinels are almost mined out, they are becoming increasingly difficult to find clean and in larger sizes, cobalt spinels also much more difficult to find than colourless diamonds, cost more per carat and at a guess I'd say probably as rare if not rarer than pink diamonds so.....

IMHO many gemstones are far less common, are rarer and cost more than colourless diamonds. And a tiny few are as rare if not rarer than pink diamonds. Some fancy coloured diamonds like say reds that are untreated are rarer. I'm not sure what this whole post is trying to prove or disprove.

I am trying to disprove this article. I wonder how many of you read my rebuttal of the fallacious arguments in that article on page 3 post #62. 44 million hits! And fake news!
1620446129987.png
 

LD

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So Gary, are you saying that if the roughly 2 million people in the US who get engaged every year all decided they wanted a tsavorite garnet rather than a Diamond ring, that there would be enough tsavorite to go around to make all these rings, plus all other Diamond jewelry sold that year? Please answer.

Garry why are you picking and choosing who to answer? You seem to ignore the comments you can’t answer.

Please confirm: do you believe diamonds are rarer than Alexandrite, Tsavorite, Bixbite, Pessotaite, Vanadium Chrysoberyl to name but a few? Can YOU purchase these in top quality/carat weights of over 1-2ct? The answer will be no.

Quite frankly this thread has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. You keep changing your mind and seem closed to the fact you’re wrong.
 
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westofhere

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This is a guy who started a thread arguing that children in Africa would be better off working in diamond mines during Covid than staying home. Good to know that PS lets such racist trash keep posting.
 

123ducklings

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This is a guy who started a thread arguing that children in Africa would be better off working in diamond mines during Covid than staying home. Good to know that PS lets such racist trash keep posting.

Garry Holloway, as in Holloway Cut Advisor. It’s less “PS lets him post” and more “he lets you use PS.”
 

westofhere

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Garry Holloway, as in Holloway Cut Advisor. It’s less “PS lets him post” and more “he lets you use PS.”

That’s what’s called sinking your brand. Also bad publicity. Which this thread has already generated on Twitter. Yikes. But I guess some people will take their 15 minutes any way they can get it.
 

voce

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Diamonds are way rarer and cost more to find than all the other worlds gems and many times rarer and harder to find than most of the popular gems. It is a fact.
No, it's not a fact; such a tall statement as "all the other worlds gems" would logically translate to diamonds being way rarer and costlier to find than any other gem, which is not true. You're also being dodgey about which gems you consider to be most of the popular gems. I would consider colorless diamond to be most of the world's popular gems.

More money is spent prospecting for diamonds and building and operating mines than all the other gems combined. Do you disagree?
Now this IS a fact. This fact speaks to VOLUME OF BUSINESS, not rarity. Having volume production of something disproves rarity.

If your thesis had been stated as Golconda type IIA diamonds are rare or fancy colored diamonds are rare, compared to other colored gems, I would wholeheartedly support it. But you're coming here with the idea of using colored quartz to stand in for all the colored gems, without any understanding or respect for the rarer colored gems.

You also like to tout that you are a gemologist, but these days it's far too easy to obtain the right to call oneself a gemologist or geologist, and unless you've really traveled the world in search of gem rough like Vincent Pardieu, your armchair gemology isn't likely to guide us to breakthrough insights.
 
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