Diamond trading is
no longer a closed club

Diamonds as an Investment
The Diamond Industry
Diamond Characteristics
Laboratories
Rapaport Price List

Rapaport Investment Grade Diamonds are the best in the market and offer the trade, investors and consumers the highest level of confidence in purchasing quality diamonds. Rapaport Certification enhances the ability to trade diamonds electronically and enables a new, highly liquid and efficient investment diamond market.

Comparing Tangible Investments

Over the past 30 to 40 years, a number of financial advisors and individual investors have increasingly looked for alternatives to diversify the traditional asset classes of stocks, bonds, real estate and cash. In this re-evaluation of alternative solutions to risk management and portfolio construction, attention has turned to the inclusion of a number of tangible asset categories, among them: Fine Art, Gold and Diamonds.

Diamonds

“Is there a way to invest in diamonds, on a centralized platform with competitive bid/ask sales where the buyer can be assured of a transparent, unambiguous and standardized set of criteria”

Diamond demand is global in nature, and diamonds worth many millions of dollars are traded every year on a number of platforms for a variety of uses. According to Bain & Co (The Global Diamond Industry 2016), the outlook for the diamond market remains positive for the long-term. They project rough-diamond demand to grow at an average annual rate of about 2% to 5%, while supply will decline by 1% to 2% per year through 2030. The main diamond markets are the U.S. (accounting for 30%-40% of the global market), China, India (the fastest growing market), Japan and Europe. Like their counterparts, Diamonds are a precious commodity, offering a highly concentrated store of value and a hedge against inflation, while providing added diversity to a traditional investment portfolio. Currently, in the global diamond market, investment diamonds represent only 3% of annual production, whereas gold is at 40%. These numbers would indicate an upside potential for demand in Diamonds as investments.

Historically, the major disadvantages of investing in Diamonds have been similar to Fine Art and FCDs: illiquidity, price ambiguity, lack of standardization and transparency, as well as, very importantly, the need for certification and expertise. The Gold investment market, in the form of standardized and relatively transparent prices for bullion and coins, has solved, to a certain extent, these main problems.

Rapaport Certified Diamonds

So, what about Diamonds? Is there a way to invest in diamonds, on a centralized platform with competitive bid/ask sales, where the buyer can be assured of a transparent, unambiguous and standardized set of criteria, which includes a quality certificate from a reputable laboratory? Can we then define “investment-grade” Diamonds as those meeting certain quality and size specifications that also include excellent cut, polish and symmetry? Rapaport Certified Investment Grade Diamonds are the best in the market and offer the trade, investors and consumers the highest level of confidence in purchasing quality diamonds. Rapaport Certification enhances the ability to trade diamonds electronically and enables a new, highly liquid and efficient investment diamond market.

Supply

Learn about global diamond production. Which countries are producing diamonds, how much they're producing and where they're producing them.

Manufacturing and Wholesale

Learn more about the diamond trade. How much is being manufactured and traded, by whom and where.

Demand

Learn more about the global diamond retail sector. How much is being sold, where and by whom.

Supply

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Manufacturing and Wholesale

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Demand

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The 4 Cs
Additional Criteria Affecting Value

Carat Weight

Carat weight is the standard mass unit for diamonds and other gemstones. The word “carat” comes from the old Greek word for the seed of a carob tree, “kerátion” (κερατιον). It is important to note the difference between Carat – denoting the weight of gemstones; and Karat – denoting the purity of gold alloys. One metric carat is equal to 200 mg (0.2 g or 0.007055 oz). In order to improve accuracy, a carat is divided into 100 points. For example, a diamond of 55 points weighs 0.55 carats.

Color

You can find diamonds in every known color, including blue, green, brown and black. Colored diamonds are known as fancy stones and are very rare. Only 0.001 percent of all diamonds are colored stones.

Clarity

The Clarity grade labels the diamond for the presence and severity of flaws. No diamond is 100% perfect. With enough magnification, you can find a flaw in the cleanest stone. Diamonds are created in the subterranean pressure of the Lithosphere. Under these extreme conditions, some alien elements like air bubbles may become trapped in the diamond. Other flaws can originate while cutting and polishing the stone.

Cut

Cut identifies how closely the diamond has been cut and polished to ideal proportions. A diamond's cut is not only about its shape, but how effectively the stone can return light back to the viewer's eye. A well-cut diamond will be seen as brilliant and sparkling. A poorly cut diamond may have the highest color and perfect clarity yet it will look dark and lifeless. Not only do well-cut diamonds appear more brilliant, but they can also appear larger than other stones of the same carat weight.
Back to The 4 Cs

Carat Weight

Carat weight is the standard mass unit for diamonds and other gemstones. The word “carat” comes from the old Greek word for the seed of a carob tree, “kerátion” (κερατιον). It is important to note the difference between Carat – denoting the weight of gemstones; and Karat – denoting the purity of gold alloys. One metric carat is equal to 200 mg (0.2 g or 0.007055 oz). In order to improve accuracy, a carat is divided into 100 points. For example, a diamond of 55 points weighs 0.55 carats.

Back to The 4 Cs

Color

The Clarity grade labels the diamond for the presence and severity of flaws. No diamond is 100% perfect. With enough magnification, you can find a flaw in the cleanest stone. Diamonds are created in the subterranean pressure of the Lithosphere. Under these extreme conditions, some alien elements like air bubbles may become trapped in the diamond. Other flaws can originate while cutting and polishing the stone.

Back to The 4 Cs

Clarity

The Clarity grade labels the diamond for the presence and severity of flaws. No diamond is 100% perfect. With enough magnification, you can find a flaw in the cleanest stone. Diamonds are created in the subterranean pressure of the Lithosphere. Under these extreme conditions, some alien elements like air bubbles may become trapped in the diamond. Other flaws can originate while cutting and polishing the stone.

Back to The 4 Cs

Cut

Cut identifies how closely the diamond has been cut and polished to ideal proportions. A diamond’s cut is not only about its shape, but how effectively the stone can return light back to the viewer’s eye. A well-cut diamond will be seen as brilliant and sparkling. A poorly cut diamond may have the highest color and perfect clarity yet it will look dark and lifeles3s. Not only do well-cut diamonds appear more brilliant, but they can also appear larger than other stones of the same carat weight. An ideal stone has both increased brilliance as well as increased diameter relative to more deeply cut diamonds.

THE PATH OF LIGHT IN THREE DIFFERENTLY PROPORTIONED DIAMONDS

When a diamond is cut to the proper proportions and is finished well, light refracts into the diamond, is reflected from one facet to another and then returns through the top of the gem resulting in a display of brilliance (white light), dispersion (rainbow-colored light), scintillation (sparkling when the diamond moves) and luster (bright reflections from the surface). Proper cutting is the key to a diamond’s beauty and value. Most diamond shapes are cut with 58 facets, or separate flat surfaces, according to mathematical formulas. Using symmetry, the cutter aligns these facets at precise angles in relation to each other to maximize the reflection and refraction of light. The proportions are calculated in angles and percentages that show how well the diamond refracts and reflects light.

A DIAMOND’S ANATOMY

Crown The area of the diamond above the girdle.
Girdle The girdle is the outer edge of the diamond. It is rated in terms of thickness ranging from thin to thick: Extremely Thin, Very Thin, Thin, Medium, Slightly Thick, Thick, Very Thick or Extremely Thick. When purchasing a diamond, avoid Extremely Thin or Extremely Thick. The girdle usually has a frosted appearance. Many diamonds are also finished with a fully polished or even a faceted girdle, depending on the cutter’s preference. This will not affect the diamond’s value. The bottom part from the girdle to the culet.
Pavilion The culet is the bottom point of the diamond.
Culet In many cases, this point actually has a very small facet. The culet is graded according to the presence or size of this facet: None or Pointed, Very Small, Small, Medium, Slightly Large, Large, Very Large and Extremely Large. The more desirable culets are graded from none to small.

Polish

The quality of a diamond's polish can affect the way light enters and is refracted from the stone.
Polishing removes unwanted material by gradual erosion. After polishing, the diamond is re-
examined for possible flaws, either remaining or induced by the polishing process.

Symmetry

Symmetry refers to the exactness of the shape and arrangement of facets in a diamond.
Although to the naked eye, polish has only a small effect on appearance, symmetry has a
significant effect.

Shape

There are nearly 2,000 different diamond shapes, with the round brilliant cut being the most
common.

Treatments

Various ways of “treating” a diamond, such as heat, can be used to enhance the
colorlessness of a diamond or intensify the color of fancy colored diamonds. The results of
these treatments can produce temporary or permanent results. However, treated stones
are worth far less per carat than natural stones.
Back to Additional Criteria Affecting Value

Polish

The quality of a diamond's polish can affect the way light enters and is refracted from the stone.
Polishing removes unwanted material by gradual erosion. After polishing, the diamond is re-
examined for possible flaws, either remaining or induced by the polishing process.

Back to Additional Criteria Affecting Value

Symmetry

Symmetry refers to the exactness of the shape and arrangement of facets in a diamond.
Although to the naked eye, polish has only a small effect on appearance, symmetry has a
significant effect.

Back to Additional Criteria Affecting Value

Shape

There are nearly 2,000 different diamond shapes, with the round brilliant cut being the most
common.

Diamond Shapes

Today, there are eight traditional brilliant cuts:

  1. Round (RB )
  2. Cushion (CB)
  3. Heart (HB)
  4. Marquise (MR)
  5. Oval (OV)
  6. Pear (PS)
  7. Rectangular (??)
  8. Square (SQ)

There are other shapes as well; the most familiar are:

  1. Emerald (EM)
  2. Radiant (RD)
  3. Princess (PR)
  4. Triangular (TR)
Back to Additional Criteria Affecting Value

Treatments

Various ways of “treating” a diamond, such as heat, can be used to enhance the
colorlessness of a diamond or intensify the color of fancy colored diamonds. The results of
these treatments can produce temporary or permanent results. However, treated stones
are worth far less per carat than natural stones.

High Pressure-high Temperature (Hpht)

High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) is a process that applies extreme
pressure—approximately 850,000 pounds per square inch and a very high temperature of
about 1,600 degrees centigrade—to the diamond. By altering the molecular structure of
natural diamonds, HPHT greatly enhances their color. Only certain types of diamonds can be
affected by this treatment, which can turn a brown diamond colorless.

Chemical Vapor Deposition (Cvd)

This is the most popular method of making synthetic diamonds. Carbon gases are broken
down in a chamber and turned into solid crystals. Controlling the temperature, types of
gases and amount of pressure in the process can create different types of diamonds.

Laser Drilling

Lasers are used to minimize the appearance of flaws and make them less visible. The results
of laser drilling are permanent. Drilling leaves colorless cavities in the diamond.

Irradiation

The irradiation of diamonds can result in the production of fancy colored stones, especially
blues, greens and deep yellow. Radiation may also be used to reduce the flaws on a
diamond.

Painting

This process involves painting a very thin coat of a chemical substance over the entire stone,
or part of it, to improve the color. Painting neutralizes the yellow in the stone and can
improve the color by as much as seven grades.

Laboratories

RAPLAB® (Rapaport Laboratories) is staffed with world-class gemologists and offers our clients the expertise, convenience and technological sophistication of our Rapaport Diamond Grading Laboratory. Our laboratory efficiently and securely evaluates the quality of your diamonds using the latest technology, with online access to report results and high definition imaging.

 

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Price List

The Rapaport Price List is the primary source of diamond price information for the diamond trade globally and is commonly used by dealers as an approximate guideline for evaluating diamond prices. It is published online every Thursday at midnight.

Martin Rapaport had been considered controversial by many within the diamond industry for publishing the Rapaport Price List in the late 1970s, which has become the de facto standard baseline for pricing wholesale polished diamonds. The Rapaport Price List is cited as being the chief reason that diamonds cost significantly less today than during the commodities boom of that era.

 

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