Diamond industrialist Ehud Arye Laniado often wrote about the rarity of diamonds and its role in diamond valuation, speaking of the economy of rarity associated with diamonds sourced from the most secured vault in the world – deep down in the belly of the planet.
Today, all gem quality diamonds are used in jewelry, which raises the question: has a product that is so hard to find and extract exhausted its potential as a jewelry component? According to Ehud Laniado the answer was no.
If we consider the annual run of mine diamond output (all diamonds - all sizes, shapes and colors, including industrial, near-gem and gem quality diamonds) then, in terms of carats and value, diamonds are a rarity. Of the full run of mine diamond output, gem quality can be divided in two segments: 2-carat polished diamonds, representing ~40% of the $22B global demand in wholesale value (~$8.8B); and rough that yields diamonds weighing 1-carat or less, worth ~$13.2B.
Today, all gem- and near-gem quality polished diamonds are used exclusively for jewelry. That does not have to be the case. Ehud Laniado thought that a two-carat or more polished diamond weighing of SI quality / J color and better is such a rare product that using it in jewelry alone does not fully exhaust its economic potential.
The rarity of diamonds, especially due to the rarity economy, can be harnessed as part of an investment strategy for capital preservation. Ehud Laniado called the diamond industry entrepreneurs to consider this option in depth and begin to change traditional perceptions, adapt and adopt new concepts.