This is a loaded question with many different answers. The short answer is no, all diamonds are valuable. The ones that are used for jewellery are given high value because of their beauty and durability and created into extraordinary pieces to be cherished. And with proper, but extremely easy, care, they truly will last forever. The other type of diamond, that we don’t usually think about, is the ugly, smaller pieces. These are considered industrial grade and are used for cutting and drilling tools and as abrasives. So even if you thought, maybe a small, highly blemished diamond is worthless and you have diamonds that aren’t valuable, that is not the case. Now let’s delve into the non-romantic, sceptic’s point of view on diamonds.

Diamonds are really not that rare. Sure, there are gorgeous and rare diamonds like the red diamond but, in reality, the diamonds in your jewellery are common occurrences. The value of diamonds from this point of view is due to demand. And that demand was created by the jewellery industry. A successful marketing campaign in 1938 is what convinced people that diamonds were a necessary tradition in engagement rings. So now everyone wants them and that is what drives the price up. Diamond cartels will even stockpile and hoard diamonds to slowly release to the market in order to keep prices high.

Intrinsic value is a term used in finance that conveys an item’s actual value and security of that value. The intrinsic value is often not reflected in its market value. An easy way to look at this concept in relation to diamonds is to think of the future value or price that a diamond will possess. If you buy a diamond at market value, it is typically marked up 100-200 percent. Later, when you want to sell it, you can usually only get 50 cents on the dollar of what you paid. Diamonds can be risky to buy, especially without a grading report or certificate.

One way to ensure your diamond is actually valuable is to get a grading report/certificate from a professional diamond specialist agency. Getting this unbiased opinion allows a seller to set a fair monetary price and gives the buyer assurance that the diamond is authentic and valuable. Among the most important aspects graded in diamonds are the 4Cs: carat, colour, clarity, and cut. Carat refers to the diamond’s weight. The less colour the better; completely colourless diamonds are the most valuable. Clarity is based on blemishes, a flawless diamond is rare and the most valuable. Cut is the shape of the diamond; different shaped diamonds react with light differently, thereby changing the lustre or sparkle. Colour and clarity are subjective and all four characteristics are complex to analyse so assigning value and price can be difficult.

It seems we have fully circled back to diamonds always having value. Man-made diamonds do exist and can be made perfectly flawless, but they will never be true, real diamonds. Diamonds are beautiful, long lasting, precious, extremely hard substances that are proudly the world’s most sought-after gemstone. Now you don’t have to ask yourself the question, are there diamonds that aren’t valuable?