Inexpensive mass production moved it from niche prestige uses to unlock its many utilitarian applications.
On the topic of found vs made materials: I’ve read that shipwrecks are getting mined as a source of steel because it’s more or less impossible to make new steel that isn’t contaminated by trace amounts of radiation from 20th century nuclear testing. While not a problem for skyscrapers, certain lab equipment requires the relatively more rare variety of found steel.
The same effect was also used in understanding brain development by looking at Carbon isotopes in brains of people born before WW2 to determine which cells were formed when.
It's almost a bit unnerving.
So there are something like six or seven orders of magnitude over which "high-tech" machinery can increase your iron productivity, or, to look at it another way, over which the price of iron can vary even once you have the know-how.
Titanium stock is at least 5x more expensive than steel at retail, so I think the material scarcity is still the major problem.
Looks like this is starting to happen alreadt: https://www.alibaba.com/showroom/titanium-hinges.html
$0.25 for a hinge
Titanium is light, but my favorite thing is it is next to impossible to bend. So anything that shouldn't bend will be better with titanium.
Habanero also sells them for low, but not quite as low, prices:
There seem to be a bunch of low-cost titanium manufacturers in China selling directly on eBay.
I'm not sure why that would be the case. Titanium alloys are only marginally more difficult to work with than aluminium alloys. The tubes are hydroformed and die cut, so the only difference is a touch more die wear. Titanium is a bit finicky to weld, but that can't possibly account for the ~500% price premium over aluminium frames. There's a tiny bit more surface preparation and your fixtures need to be more complex to provide adequate gas purging, but the differences in a mass production environment are quite marginal.
>And the majority of riders seem to prefer carbon fiber anyway.
Carbon is better for competition road bikes, because it offers the absolute lowest weight and can be easily formed into complex aerodynamic profiles. Entry-level bikes tend to be aluminium for cost reasons. For touring and audax bikes, many riders still prefer steel for durability and comfort. Titanium has the corrosion-resistance and light weight of aluminium but the comfort of steel, so it's considered by many to be the ideal material for non-racing bikes, but the cost is often prohibitive.
As far as I can see, the bike industry would be transformed if titanium were to achieve price parity with aluminium.
Carbon is fragile and breaks but it is cheaper to repair once again because Titanium is exotic right now.
This gives an insane amount of tensile strenght since it always wants to retain its shape. TBH I have no idea why we haven't seen Titanium in things like golf clubs, hockey sticks, baseball bats, tennis rackets, snowboards etc, where you could really use its springy characteristics to a huge advantage.
I've always felt like it has a huge potential for widespread use in sports.
Hockey sticks tend to be carbon fiber.
<s>I think the baseball wood/aluminum debate can't handle another metal </s>
Snowboards and such do benefit from being able to bend. I could see it more in alpine snowboard equipment, but again, I'm not sure that carbon fiber wouldn't be the better bet.
Now, slow pitch softball had Ti bats in the early 90's that added 10 mph. Even then some of the new composite materials out hit Ti.
The issue is one PEOPLE DIE because of these bats and balls. (I'm old but I was one of maybe three people that could hit a home run now all 10 players can)
1) The other bats were so thin that you had to rotate the bat when you hit because the bats bend or will break. The ti bats are durable and you can still sue them. The issue is nothing really is better than ti but ti has a cost.
>"The pitcher’s mound for amateur slow-pitch softball varies according to the field and age of players, but is generally between 40 and 50 feet from home. This means that after a ball is hit, assuming an exit velocity of between 78 and 102 mph, the pitcher has between 0.456 and 0.350 seconds to react to a batted ball. Adding exit velocity shaves precious micro-seconds off that time. That was what made titanium bats so dangerous. Softballs became missiles and pitchers became targets. And the dangers are real. Players have lost teeth, eyesight, motor function, IQ points and even their lives when struck by balls hit off hot bats."
There's an ugly licensing fight in the history of the FFC Cambridge process. See the section "Commercial challenges" in this article:
In 2000 Cambridge University Technical Service issued a sub-license for the technology that British Titanium Plc used for the purpose of producing bulk titanium and titanium alloys. BTi worked closely with researchers from the Fray group (one F of the Fray, Farthing, Chen inventors whose names make up "FFC.")
The US Office of Naval Research issued contracts to BTi for R&D work in 2000 and 2002. In 2002 DARPA started funding more expensive scale-up work also associated with BTi. In 2004 NASA issued an even larger contract to BTi. Cambridge spun off Metalysis in 2002 with another license, but Metalysis didn't seem to be making much progress compared with BTi. In 2005, CUTS revoked the sub-license granted to BTi and made all of the IP exclusive to Metalysis. The license revocation destroyed BTi.
My interpretation: CUTS crippled BTi because Metalysis wasn't making enough progress on implementation to compete against BTi. But CUTS really crippled the whole concept because the experts that had been working for and with BTi didn't want to work with Metalysis after getting screwed by CUTS. Metalysis "pivoted" to tantalum and has failed to make notable progress there, too. Maybe the application to titanium will finally resume progress toward industrialization after the patents expire.
I've loved everything Neal's written, though I may begrudgingly agree with various critics that suggest he really doesn't do endings very well (REAMDE and Anathem are much, much better on this front).
I've tried recommending various books of his to different friends, and I've concluded that I have basically zero predictive capability in terms of working out who would like which of his books. Maybe I've simply failed to grade them properly on the geek scale, but it feels like some of his more technical books appeal to people who don't normally like deep tech, and his deeply social commentary style novels appeal to people who normally push back against strong societal allegory. Which just makes me love his stuff even more.
I wholeheartedly disagree. As the great (and unfortunately late) Ursula Le Guin wrote, I write science fiction, and science fiction isn't about the future. I don't know any more about the future than you do, and very likely less.
Predictions are cute and all, and I enjoy reading them, but SF certainly can't be judged by how predictive it is.
It seems his "formula" is that the first 90% of the book is world building (and he's absolutely amazing at that), then the last 10% is the actual story, but packed into an impossibly small space, so it feels like everything happening at once.
In REAMDE and Anathem, the split feel more like 70/30, but he "compensates" by having so much more story, so it's still everything happening at once, but for much longer. It almost feels exhausting.
Seveneves tries a different formula, it's more like 40/10/40/10. Still, I'd wish he'd nail a story that actually goes on throughout the novel, with the world building interleaved.
REAMDE was also similarly received by my other half -- a case in point to my earlier observation about being unable to predict which NS book matches (my understanding of) someone's literary tastes.
Seveneves also backs up my low-quality self-assessment capabilities -- my other half loved that too, despite always pushing back on 'science fiction'. I read an astonishingly annoying spoiler in an HN comment soon after that book was released, and I've subsequently been very cautious talking about it. Suffice to say the ending of that book is frustrating primarily because it's still not clear if there may be a follow-up work.
I really wish Vinge would revisit that universe - Deepness in the Sky was great but it was a prequel of sorts.
That's sad. Recommend it and they either pick it up and read or don't. That's up to them but why not give someone a chance to be inspired, experience that magic, and think about these things?
There are more non-programmers than programmers. They spend money on and vote on things that have an effect on what's possible in the future too.
I read it as a teen, am a non-programmer, and still think about it two decades later. Everything we read can help in how we approach the world, especially as the years go by and we experience more of it.
From what I understand, these gems are actually better than natural ones, since they're 100% pure. Maybe it's time to call lab-grown diamonds "real" and mined ones "fake".
It's funny what massive marketing campaign can do.
DeBeers' big win was when they convinced the US FTC that synthetic diamonds had to be labeled as synthetic. They're real diamonds, and arguably not different from natural ones. The tests required to detect synthetics keep getting more complicated and expensive as the synthesis technology improves.
The old heat and pressure process was first used by General Electric to make a synthetic diamond in 1956. That's used today to make diamond abrasives by the ton. Making gemstones that way wasn't cost-effective until, in the 1990s, Gemesis, in Florida, got the process to work better. The process is touchy, but that's what computer control is for. DeBeers tried threats and intimidation. Unfortunately for them, the Gemesis CEO was a retired US Army general and didn't intimidate. The synthetic diamond gem industry, based in Florida, was soon going strong.
Then came controlled vapor deposition of carbon. The heat and pressure process forced some metal from the press anvils into the diamond, and this was detectable. The CVD process, using technology similar to that used to make near perfect crystal IC substrates, didn't do that. Synthetic diamonds could not longer be detected with standard diamond industry tests.
DeBeers developed more elaborate tests. Diamonds glow for a few milliseconds after being hit by a UV flash, and DeBeers makes testers which flash the target and then take a picture. The results differ for CVD diamonds, but not by much. There are videos of the difference, and it's now at the point where the precise symmetry of CVD diamonds is what distinguishes them. This blows away a basic sales pitch of the diamond business - the best diamond is a flawless crystal. Now they're up against a semiconductor materials technology that makes perfect crystals. DeBeers has been trying to spin this as "natural flaws" being important, after decades of promoting "flawless" as the goal.
CVD was originally really slow. Then the process got faster. Then more companies started using it. Now there's a glut of small diamonds. You can buy them in kilogram bags on Alibaba.
As for cubic zirconia, that's now so cheap that for $500 you can buy a gemstone 200mm across for about $500.
Most other gemstones have been produced in bulk for decades. You can buy ruby and sapphire rods and sheets, and it's not that expensive. The checkout scanners at Home Depot have a sapphire layer on top of the glass. You can drag tools across those all day for years before they scratch much.
Yes, for decades they claimed clarity and purity to be indicators of the highest quality. Now that humans can manufacture them with better specs than nature, they're shifting to claim that "natural" is better. In the end it's a pretty carbon lattice.
It's such bullshit, from the social usage as a token of value for females to the fake perception of value.
I hope they fall hard.
(Less so for industrial uses, or for inserts into the average person's engagement rings where it's the thought and style rather than the provenance that counts)
Painting and drawing went for various forms of stylized representation, because competing against photographs doesn't interest most people.
But you also had a new field of photography, where the focus is now composition. There is a marked difference between the photographs I take and the photographs a skilled photographer takes, even if both are realistic depictions of a scene, and the difference is, sometimes, art.
That is, it's not so much about composition, as it is about using objects around you - people, nature, etc - to paint a picture instead of using paint and brushes.
It's much easier than painting when the picture you see in your head is much like what the camera lens sees when you point it in a given direction.
However, often there's work required to paint the picture you see in your head. With people, it's figuring out what to say to them to make them look the way you see them - to bring out the inner warmth - and to figure out how to capture in a static image what the eye sees over a stretch of time.
Ultimately, with movies we've come full circle: filmmakers often resort to painting (i.e. CGI) instead of photography, because sometimes it's easier just to paint the picture one has in their minds with a graphics tablet than it is to paint it with real-world objects positioned around the camera - even if realism is the goal.
The artistic merits and goals are another axis altogether from market demand, and a bit more difficult subject.
There was a similar problem with Rubies and they detected the fakes by virtue of the fact that they were flawless.
Geo-sourced vs anthro-sourced?
They could go the granola from the earth natural route but unlike organic farming, which evokes images of the stoic farmer, their image is of conflict diamonds and exploited children in dangerous mines.
Couple that with the fact that many people no longer buy the diamonds or see the value that DeBeers put on them. And the fact that millennials are poor and they have a fading empire.
I believe that with really good marketing (which De Beers can easily afford) this should not be a problem. For example the fact that Persian rug makers traditionally include deliberate small imperfections into their carpets
might be a good starting point for how one might create such a campaign.
With that gone they have very little to play with. Fashion, possibly, but that’s strongly fickle & temporary.
Those kids growing up in the 90s who heard about all the shit DeBeers did and continues to do are now of the age where they would be a customer and they aren't buying. The up and coming generations certainly don't value diamonds either.
I would bet that in 15-20 years the market will decline significantly further and the artificial diamonds are only going to hasten that decline.
I wonder whether they could go a fair trade route, focus only on communities which could be improved, and give them a small slice (which would make an enormous difference). It would require a change in approach, not just a marketing whitewash.
If you want a fair trade diamond you need one that's certified to have come from somewhere like Canada.
Develop methods to distinguish "natural"/"organic" impurities from artificially introduced flaws.
In other words, I basically agree that diamond prices are subject to artificial scarcity, but give credit to the other side’s point. They have a reasonable and internally consistent argument, even if we find it disagreeable. If you interpret “real” to mean “natural”, their position is reasonable. This isn’t novel - we use “real” and “fake” to refer to “natural” and “artificial” for many other things.
The only thing I credit them for is being ruthlessly manipulative. "Fakes" is not a neutral word. It was very specifically chosen for its emotional baggage, similar to "pro-lifer" or "franken-foods". It is an emotional distracting piece of doublespeak and should not be condoned at all as being "reasonable".
It’s only doublespeak if you subscribe to a literalist form of communication that most people do not use. “Fake” isn’t a neutral word because it’s not intended to be - some people actually do prefer natural diamonds, just as some people really do prefer non-GMO food. It doesn’t matter if the reason they have that preference is due to artificial scarcity or a marketing campaign, the point is that they have that preference and many will keep it even if they are very informed on the matter. People are not hyperrational in the development of their preferences.
The point I’m trying to make here is that while I agree people shouldn’t spend ostentatious amounts of money on items with artificial scarcity, I think litigating the use of the word “fake” is effectively a strawman and a sideshow when we’re discussing De Beers. In my opinion, while lab-made diamonds are more fiscally responsible, they’re not less silly as a purchase than natural diamonds if you dislike the capitalist insertion of a jewelry preference. It’s just local maxima: if you buy a lab-grown diamond you’re still buying a diamond. You’re still buying into that “emotional baggage”, as you put it, you’re just being a bit more fiscally savvy about it. If we assume people are not born with a desire for diamonds, then there is a credible argument buying synethic ones is still feeding a desire you (and I!) find fundamentally disagreeable.
No, I'm not. I'm stating the fact that the language used by De Beers is manipulative. Whether or not people fall for that manipulation is a separate argument.
I did not bring consumers into the equation, you did. And speaking of manipulative language, I would appreciate it if you didn't try to spin it as if I'm the one talking down to them.
More abstractly, to call a marketing campaign emphasizing the “realness” of a luxury item manipulative is to say that people could be manipulated by it. I disagree that people are manipulated into their desires for these items, even if their desires are not financially rational.
The fact that an entire industry relies on fallacies does not make calling out those fallacies counter-productive. On the contrary.
More to the point, what exactly is the fallacy? That the “real” products are better? They are better for some definition, you just don’t share the same definition of “better” as the people buying them. That’s the problem: the claim of superiority is not falsifiable, and it’s normative. It’s valid to say that synthetic diamonds are better according to some metrics like flawlessness, but that isn’t the metric everyone values. Many people demonstrably want “as flawless as possible for the ‘real’ diamond I can afford.” That desire is not based on a fallacy, it’s based on different priors. People are approximately never perfectly price-efficient in their purchasing decisions, which means there’s some amount of irrationality everywhere. A desire to buy an inefficiently priced luxury item with artificial scarcity and status associations is price-irrational but it can make sense in general. In your view, there should be a rigorous notion of “the metric” to optimize for across various products, but that notion is fundamentally at odds with how humans operate culturally. To put it bluntly, many people know and don’t care that synthetic diamonds are better in many respects, just as many people know and don’t care that a “franken-Rolex” can be better than an actual Rolex in many respects. They still want the “real” version, and from there they’ll optimize further.
Like I said, I think there are legitimate criticisms of the diamond trade, but in my opinion they’re glossed over when we get preoccupied talking about what constitutes “real” versus “fake” and whether or not people should want the “real” thing.
Oh really? And you did not think of explaining this completely non-standard usage of the word "productive" until now? Who is not being "productively precise" in their argumentation here?
I'm done with this debate. Your style of discussion is basically building up a giant Rube Goldberg machine of words for something that is extremely simple at the core, which is turning it into an endurance run of who can keep up with the walls of text the longest. That is neither convincing, nor respectful of the person you are debating with to.
Sorry, that wasn’t my intention. But respectfully, I disagree. I don’t think this topic is at all simple, and I find nuance to be a helpful perspective.
Especially for people who are not (yet) particularly invested/interested, it signals that the "fake" ones are flawed and objectively worse in terms of quality, because of the parallel to fake (counterfeit) goods which often are.
Instead of fake, calling them synthetic or artificial would be more neutral choices. For "real" you could use "natural(ly occurring)" or similar.
Predisposed is a pretty strong word. Do you think people are born with a preference for “natural” diamonds? I happen to believe that most preferences you hold are learned throughout life, perhaps even manufactured by others.
This is not whataboutism because I'm not excusing the diamond industry's behavior by distracting the conversation to irrelevant examples. Instead, I'm generalizing the diamond industry as part of a greater phenomenon to demonstrate that the problem isn't just the diamond industry, it's the way human beings are incentivized to operate with respect to status symbols in general.
Simply replying with that link tells me that you believe my points can be reduced - and similarly dismissed - simply by labeling them with whatever the term is for the (perceived) fault in the argument. That's about as constructive as saying something is an ad hominem without any effort to explain why, or to declare something is fake news without providing more information.
You're not debating in good faith. Moreover, what's the point? You must know you're not going to convince me with a low effort comment sending me to a Wikipedia page describing one of the many possible ways an argument can be fallacious. You didn't even both to explain why it applies (which, again, it doesn't). So why are you even bothering with this?
YES IT FUCKING DOES YOU HYPOCRITICAL TWAT. Obtusity is NOT nuance.
> to honestly criticize the diamond industry, we should criticize the entire market of veblen goods in general.
You're both defending the diamond industry and admitting that they're bad, but saying we are only allowed to criticise it if we criticise everything that has remotely similar workings. That is the whataboutist fallacy
It would have taken you three sentences of reading comprehension of linked WikiPedia to figure this out. I do not for one second believe that you are arguing in good faith yourself sir. Good day.
"Fake" means something isn't what it's claimed to be.
A piece of glass cut to look like a diamond is a fake. You make like it or not, but it isn't a diamond. A diamond is a mass of carbon in a particular structure, and glass isn't.
A lab-grown diamond is not fake. It is, in fact, a diamond.
If people want to distinguish between "natural" vs "synthetic" or "mined" vs "grown" diamonds, fine. But "fake" is truly a misleading term here.
De Beers definitely mined cornered the market for a long time. But its over.
The meme that diamonds are falling off frees if not for De Beers is not accurate. But with these artificals, it may very well come true.
IMO it's not much different than deciding to drink "natural water" over simple tap water (though I'm basing this off living near a spring well that supplies my tap water, experiences may vary).
Preferring the “real” over the “fake” is only irrational insofar as preferring either is irrational. You either buy these items because you want the status signalling effect, or yoy buy them because you actually have an innate appreciation for them.
"What makes a diamond "natural"?"
Diamonds are perceived as luxury goods because of the elaborate fiction of artificial scarcity woven around it by De Beers, which you have acknowledged upthread.
Mentioning gold wasn't necessary because alchemy never delivered on a man-made substitute for gold. And it distracts from the core issue, we are here debating the consequences of the Chinese lab's feat for diamond after all.
EDIT: To summarize, I'm not clear on why you think applying a "luxury goods" lens will lead to better insights as to why people prefer "natural/real" over "man-made/fake" substitutes, when the underlying issue is one of perception, which can be shaped by anyone with an agenda and a marketing budget.
They now basically say, "the more pure they are, the more valuable, because they are incredibly rare (because we artificially limit supply) unless they are really, really pure, because we can't limit supply of those."
Remember, lots of things are natural, but only the rare ones are valuable.
If you approach this from the perspective that you’re spending more money for imperceptible characteristics encouraged by a massive conglomerate, then sure, it’s obviously irrational. But if you look at it from the perspective of signaling or status seeking, it makes sense to pursue the “real” item over the “fake” one.
If you buy a synthetic diamond, the only people you’re signaling favorably to are those in your particular ingroup with respect to opinions on De Beers. If you buy a real diamond, you are signaling to a much wider set of people. It’s not fiscally rational, but it’s not supposed to be.
Do you keep the price tag on it?
Or do you just talk about how, obviously, you'd never stoop to buying man-made diamonds?
Can't argue with that.
The Diamond cartel has done a lot of PR spin to say these new ones "threaten viability..."
The world is literally run by PR and marketing.
"Rare" still has status and therefore a price premium.
Which is fine, but it’s a massive cultural shift for them & I’m not sure they’d want to do that (though they may have no choice).
Also I was surprised that the price difference wasn't bigger, in the 1-2 carat range it seemed the difference was maybe 10-20% or so, which is not nothing but not massive.
Could be an artifact of where I was looking however.
If god herself could not tell the difference in a blind test, then there's no significant difference. Except price of course.
Der Bers, take that! (I hope your social listening catches this)
I believe that De Beers has hired a group of highly qualified advertising specialists. So your "little first world anarchy" is really futile.
You probably might want to, like, spell their name even remotely correctly for that to happen.
If that is the story, then it doesn’t need to be told.
Price depends on grading factors such as cut, colour and clarity (inclusions). I was surprised to learn that lab grown diamonds also vary in colour, and may have inclusions, and as such are graded on the same scale as natural diamonds.
At most of the stores I visited, the price of lab-grown diamonds was about 30% cheaper compared to their natural counterparts at the same grade.
Most surprising though was that the sales people were really pushing hard to sell the lab grown diamonds over the natural ones.
I would imagine the markup and commission is much much higher.
And I hope they lose.
https://priceonomics.com/post/45768546804/diamonds-are-bulls... (and HN comments on original posting 2013-03-19 -- https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5403988 )
One of the best pieces of long-form journalism ever published, without a doubt.
Cubic zirconia looks identical to diamonds but it's not chemically the same so people always considered it fake. Synthetic diamonds are chemically identical so De Beers need to invest millions in figuring out ways to distinguish them. Natural diamonds don't add anything more, but the whole purpose of them is that they're expensive.
1. a group of individuals or organizations combined to promote some common interest.
But we call them organized crime. So shouldn't calling something an organized <blank> be negative as well?
My goal for my Syndicate is like the old video game. Good times!
> The arrival of lab-grown diamonds has challenged the widely-held assumption that diamond prices could only go up
Well diamond trade exists largely in a free market until it hits some of the countries they sell in but before that we basically have blood being spilt over them and companies existing outside of strong regulated countries to funnel the diamonds into and control the price.
A truly free-market seems very scary in a modern world.
Instead I attack the ones that are actually driving to make policies that reflect a 'free-market', deregulate and push the ideology. Those are the ones pushing for an unreasonable policies.
Transparency can be subjective. For example, a person sells 100 shares of ACME stock to a savvy buyer. A short time later the stock triples in value, and the seller sues the buyer because they were not "completely transparent" about their knowledge that the stock would rise.
Of course, in all of this I am not talking about deliberate fraud which would be strictly forbidden in a free market.
If you don't have that, a free market can't work well.
When you buy something in a free market, you should know its quality, characteristics and the price on the market. You should also know its provenance, relative supply and transport/marketing cost. That's transparency. It lets you buy things and make the most efficient choices, which is why it's fundamental for a free market.
The criteria you specify for transparency is subjective and I don't agree that all of those criteria are strictly necessary. Specifically, I don't agree that knowledge of "provenance, relative supply and transport/marketing cost" is required of a buyer at all in a free market, though they may personally have an interest in those things. I would venture that most consumers know and care very little about those things.
>If you don't have that, a free market can't work well.
>which is why it's fundamental for a free market
What's important is the principle of subjective value--that the buyer and the seller value what they are getting more than what they are giving up--and that can happen without the various criteria of transparency you outline. Certainly there are cases where market actors will demand some of those (and many cases they will not), but I wouldn't state it's a foundational requirement the market must be built upon.
>What's important is the principle of subjective value--that the buyer and the seller value what they are getting more than what they are giving up--and that can happen without the various criteria of transparency you outline.
No, that's important to a market period. A free market is a specific thing.
You need the other things to move away from the necessity of government regulation (transparency, for example.) If you don't know what's in that apple and nobody is going to make sure it's safe, you can't buy or sell it efficiently.
>You need the other things to move away from the necessity of government regulation
I guess this is the crux of the matter. You are suggesting that transparency must pre-exist a free market, I am suggesting that a free market pre-exists transparency, and when necessary transparency will be demanded by the consumers.
The issue, I think, is that we have a different definition for a free market. A free market, by the definition I am using, functions at peak efficiency and is free from monopoly and large stakeholder or government intervention/regulation. For that to occur, the kind of transparency I'm talking about must theoretically be present.
If transparency came afterward, what happened prior would not be perfectly efficient and would be vulnerable to monopolization, intervention or unbalanced deals and so would not, by definition, be a free market.
That is the whole point against it, no one would enforce it.
You say the people would but would they? Would they care? People in the US know about 'blood' diamonds, heck a movie came out with an extremely famous cast and helped get lots of people aware of the dirty trade of diamonds.
Diamonds still sell extremely well. Banking on the common person to push for transparency and help improve the market by not 'supporting' these diamonds doesn't work already. They know about diamonds trade and people still constantly buy them.
So, a real diamond of fake value is used to engrave fake value of real bitcoin .. or something ..
Of course they have their own diamond growing lab and Deep Sea diamond mining rigs. I too hope are beaten by other market players.
That's actually ridiculous, we're destroying the enviroment to mine something we can produce cheaper in a factory.
Not to mention the issues with blood diamonds. child labour etc.
>The arrival of lab-grown diamonds has challenged the widely-held assumption that diamond prices could only go up
I'll admit I don't know a lot about the diamond market and perhaps I'm misinformed, but how on earth was this a widely held assumption? In a world where people are increasingly aware that De Beers and other companies hold major stockpiles of diamonds solely to keep the price inflated, and when man made diamonds for industrial purposes have been a thing for a long time?
I agree that this is a good thing though.
They created an engagement ring tradition so strong & embedded people assume that it's traditional... Out of thin air. They were able to create a "suggested price" of 3 months salary! Can you think of anything else like that? They got Marilyn Monroe to sing their jingle, one of the most iconic pop songs ever. They were able to label all competition as "fake," or fraud. Truly amazing.
One of my favorite Priceonomics Articles - "Diamonds a re Bullshit" . Previous discussions on HN [1,2]. Also, previous discussion on "Lab-Grown Diamonds" .
There are some cheap alternatives to diamonds like Moissanite. Here's a nice overview . Also, discussed previously on HN .
⇒ If there is a large price correction, something else will replace diamonds (what that something will be is anybody’s guess)
De Beers knows that, but wants to stay in the game, so they market “made by nature” as a pre of ‘real’ diamonds.
All I can think when I read this is that of course they get orders -- all the companies producing synthetic diamonds want to get hold of this machine so that they can train their production process to produce synthetic diamonds that register as organic.
*Cyanides are considered inorganic even though hydrogen cyanide contains a C-H bond.
BUT a friend of mine once said that she would never wear them since they're too chromatic, too much rainbow, therefore too prominent and that to her was a bad taste. I tend to agree with her: expensive everyday jewelry, clothes etc. shouldn't be in your face, but recognizable only on closer inspection.
if they look identical to the naked eye, how can jewelers and debeers justify buying the naturals? are you now buying the diamond for its "history" or "story"? is it like buying "organic" food? or is it purely because it was never about the diamond itself; the diamond was just a representation of how money you sank into your spouse?
And although she understood why there was no real difference outside of price, I think she was very worried she would be judged by other women for not having (or being worth) a "real" diamond. She also felt that she wanted something that showed (again, to whom?) I recognized her commitment to me and that I thought she deserved to have the things she wanted, whatever they might be. She got me something in return which I never expected, so it wasn't at all one sided.
And it really is amazing seeing all of the reactions and sidelong glances other women give to her ring. I've never noticed anyone's jewelry in any detail beyond that they were wearing some, but now it's like we're surrounded by car fanatics and she has a McLaren P1 strapped to her hand.
" I think she was very worried she would be judged by other women for not having (or being worth) a "real" diamond. "
Your projecting your own ideas on her.
"She also felt that she wanted something that showed (again, to whom?) I recognized her commitment to me and that I thought she deserved to have the things she wanted, whatever they might be. "
The 'to whom' is to her. It's what she wanted. Give it to her, don't fight her about it.
This is, frankly, very bad advice. If you don't care about the money or your values are aligned with buying an expensive natural diamond, then sure, go for it, but that's not the person who needs advice in this situation anyway. Arguments over money are a leading cause of conflicts in relationships. Failing to address a disagreement on a large purchase like this and the underlying values that cause the disagreement are quite likely to cause conflict in your marriage.
Personally, if a potential spouse felt strongly that an expensive natural diamond was necessary, I'd consider it, but I'd need to hear some good reasoning. In the absence of other information, wanting an expensive natural diamond indicates to me a very large mismatch in values between me and the potential spouse, and I'd want to understand that mismatch before we commit to sharing finances and teaching children our values.
I don't view this as "fighting her about it", either. It's not me versus her, it's us trying to gain a better understanding of each others viewpoints and using that understanding to assess our compatibility.
>> " I think she was very worried she would be judged by other women for not having (or being worth) a "real" diamond. "
> Your projecting your own ideas on her.
Alternate theory: maybe he talked to his wife and she said that. It seems that you're making a very large assumption that the poster hasn't talked to his own wife about this.
get fake diamond, claim it's real to everyone else. it's not like they can tell the difference, or they will take her ring to get tested.
I haven't been snarled at many times in my life, but that was one of them.
I hate that people don't just get what they want. I suppose I could be projecting, but it's like when someone shows off their engagement ring and the diamond is quite small, but then everyone has to act all amazed and find ways to gush about it. Sure, maybe they wanted something simple and modest and not too flashy (which I definitely agree with), but it just makes me think how much better off everyone would be if they bought a non-diamond ring with the same amount of money (or less!) and had something more special.
For some certificate of "naturalness" that comes with the diamond which the jeweler will be able hand out to his customers.
The market for diamonds isn't rational, so how it will behave is not predictable.
First, the idea that diamonds maintain value is nonsense. This isn't gold or some other mineral "currency." You can sell gold anywhere for close to its spot price. Diamonds OTOH, have buy-sell "spreads" more like antiques or collectible shoes.
So, the subtitle is already on the wrong path. Diamonds have never been good stores of wealth, that's why the earlier dowry traditions use gold, cattle, secret recipes or some other reliable asset.
With cubic zirconia & moissanite, the diamond industry learned to recognise the "fakes." They've had machines for a while, but the industry also invested a lot in jeweler training. The reason for this is perception. If only machines know the difference...
For the average buyer, they're encouraged to note differences in "brilliance" & "fire" which is kind of visible in certain light. Ironically, zirconia & moissanite are different from diamonds in opposite ways, one more and the other less fiery.
This is a pure pr fight. If people use terms like "fake diamonds" then de beers wins. "Blood diamonds," then they lose.
Curious side note: the CCP has influence on Chinese consumer culture that doesn't exist elsewhere. If they say manufactured diamonds are real, then they are. China doesn't mine diamonds, but they do manufacture them....
Now that I think of it, De Beers probably has a strong interest in "fraud" being a problem. If manufactured diamonds are sold as natural, this is fraud. There will be victims, trials, fraud prevention... All good reinforcement that these things, they're not really diamonds. Fake is debatable. Fraud is something that you can get a judge to say.
So, back toy initial question. What is this article talking about? Is this a new type of gem, or the ones that have already been available for decades. If not...
Isn't the point of a diamond its beauty in the eye of the beholder? If I had a big diamond I would definitely want the cheapest one possible with a visual aesthetic I like. Fortunately, my wife and I don't like diamonds and we have purple sapphires in our wedding bands.
At any rate, at least we can rest assured in the knowledge that if it weighs the same as a duck it is definitely a witch.
With all the problems of natural diamonds, I would prefer a lab-grown diamond...
Women's cultural conditioning and arguably human nature. It being a completely unnecessary but very costly sacrifice to the man is the feature, not a bug. It doesn't need to have intrinsic value, all that matters is that it is an accurate signal of excess wealth.
There are those (like you and your wife) who see past this, which is great, and I hope this trend continues.
I don't know why the equality crowd isn't vehemently against a high and essential cost from one gender to another, nearly unilaterally. (Well, cynically they like it because it affects mostly men, and indeed works as an accurate signal of affluence.) But it would be great, for causes like income equality and the wage gap, if this could be turned symbolic, instead of an actual costly sacrifice which is entirely a burden on men.
They just make do with wedding bands and wear nothing before the ceremony. Seems like the engagement ring is a phenomenon very specific to some western countries.
You might as well ask why people buy first issue Superman Number 1 comics and not a reprint? Same shit pictures right?