Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

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Dantez
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Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby Dantez » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:22 pm UTC

Taken from this article: http://pda.itar-tass.com/en/c154/521362.html

Basically the Russians found a huge amount of diamonds during the seventies in the Popigai crater, that display a lot of "unusual abrasive features and large grain size".

What do you think will happen to the diamond market? What impact can this discovery have for science, industry and other fields?
Last edited by Dantez on Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:50 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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sardia
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Re: Russia declassifies deposit of impact diamonds

Postby sardia » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:59 pm UTC

If they exploit it ruthlessly, the price of industrial diamonds will fall. Which is good for the industry side, I'm not sure what percentage of those diamonds are really pretty though. However, considering that diamonds are neither rare nor valuable; they'll probably do what De Beers does and limit production so that the price of diamonds doesn't fall too much. Aka, nothing will happen, and prices remain the same.
Rant: Paying a lot for diamonds to give to other people is the dumbest thing in the entire world. Diamond supply far exceeds demand, and the only reason the price remains high is that De Beers tightly regulates distribution of its diamonds, and they control 70% of the market.

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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby Sockmonkey » Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:45 pm UTC

Yep, and we can make perfect gem-quality diamonds in the lab now for less than the mined ones cost so the whole diamond industry is essentially useless.

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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby Shivahn » Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:41 pm UTC

That's not true!

At the very least, they drum up business for large arms companies.

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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby Sockmonkey » Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:56 pm UTC

Shivahn wrote:That's not true!

At the very least, they drum up business for large arms companies.

Yes, and it seriously pisses me off that DeBeers pulls so much crap to keep the lab ones out of the market when widespread manufacture of diamonds would effectively pull a huge chunk of the funding from various african warlords.

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sardia
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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby sardia » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:23 pm UTC

Sockmonkey wrote:
Shivahn wrote:That's not true!

At the very least, they drum up business for large arms companies.

Yes, and it seriously pisses me off that DeBeers pulls so much crap to keep the lab ones out of the market when widespread manufacture of diamonds would effectively pull a huge chunk of the funding from various african warlords.

Ok, who's gonna buy a cheap rock for their fiance when/if/ they got married instead of the expensive diamond? Don't cheat and claim you didn't know any better when you bought her the ring.

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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby Darryl » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:30 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
Sockmonkey wrote:
Shivahn wrote:That's not true!

At the very least, they drum up business for large arms companies.

Yes, and it seriously pisses me off that DeBeers pulls so much crap to keep the lab ones out of the market when widespread manufacture of diamonds would effectively pull a huge chunk of the funding from various african warlords.

Ok, who's gonna buy a cheap rock for their fiance when/if/ they got married instead of the expensive diamond? Don't cheat and claim you didn't know any better when you bought her the ring.

My girlfriend of 6 years and I are both indifferent to diamonds. We're doing birthstone rings. You know, the actual tradition before DeBeers.
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Sockmonkey
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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby Sockmonkey » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:22 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
Sockmonkey wrote:
Shivahn wrote:That's not true!

At the very least, they drum up business for large arms companies.

Yes, and it seriously pisses me off that DeBeers pulls so much crap to keep the lab ones out of the market when widespread manufacture of diamonds would effectively pull a huge chunk of the funding from various african warlords.

Ok, who's gonna buy a cheap rock for their fiance when/if/ they got married instead of the expensive diamond? Don't cheat and claim you didn't know any better when you bought her the ring.

They're exactly the same. As in real diamonds. If a lot of money is what makes it "special" then get her something else to go with it.

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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby Shivahn » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:18 pm UTC

Again, this is just not true! They are not the same.

Synthetic diamonds are actually superior due to the fact that they don't contain flaws.

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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby Radical_Initiator » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:33 pm UTC

It's not the object, it's the process. If someone demands a collection of carbon atoms - fused into a nearly-perfect-but-actually-rather-flawed crystal lattice by large temperatures and immense pressures over periods of possibly billions of years so that someone being paid probably sub-human wages and being treated like cattle can pluck them out of the ground and hand them to a company whose entire protracted wealth is the result of hoarding said product, artificially driving down supply while simultaneously using our own psychology against us for the purpose of artificially inflating demand - so that they can wear a tiny fragment or collection of fragments of such crystals for what is probably, at the very outside, a few decades, then why shouldn't we be prepared to shell out top dollar for them? Call it a "moron tax".
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sardia
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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby sardia » Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:06 am UTC

Except your argument falls flat because nonmorons can't buy cheaper diamonds because De Beers has a monopoly on supply. Of course, this is already buying into the propaganda that diamonds==marriage.

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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby Radical_Initiator » Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:24 am UTC

sardia wrote:Except your argument falls flat because nonmorons can't buy cheaper diamonds because De Beers has a monopoly on supply. Of course, this is already buying into the propaganda that diamonds==marriage.

Drat; foiled again. Well, I'd go with Darryl in that regard - nonmorons buy nondiamonds. Or hell, what are we doing exchanging rocks in the first place? Diamonds != marriage, but neither do rubies, emeralds, sapphires, opals, amethysts ... you catch my drift.

If your SO really wants a diamond, I suggest buying them a lump of graphite and telling them to sit on it.*







*Yes, I know it doesn't actually work like that.
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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby Iulus Cofield » Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:34 am UTC

Shivahn wrote:Again, this is just not true! They are not the same.

Synthetic diamonds are actually superior due to the fact that they don't contain flaws.


Synthetics also don't have an aesthetically superior blue reflection. Or something de Beers told me to reassure me that a synthetic diamond is horrible for jewelry.

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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby dudiobugtron » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:55 am UTC

Radical_Initiator wrote:It's not the object, it's the process. If someone demands a collection of carbon atoms - fused into a nearly-perfect-but-actually-rather-flawed crystal lattice by large temperatures and immense pressures over periods of possibly billions of years ... - so that they can wear a tiny fragment or collection of fragments of such crystals for what is probably, at the very outside, a few decades, then why shouldn't we be prepared to shell out top dollar for them?


^This part I agree with, but the other half:

... so that someone being paid probably sub-human wages and being treated like cattle can pluck them out of the ground and hand them to a company whose entire protracted wealth is the result of hoarding said product, artificially driving down supply while simultaneously using our own psychology against us for the purpose of artificially inflating demand ... Call it a "moron tax".


Is pretty much just the same arguments one might use against almost any consumer product. 'Unfair' trade isn't unique to diamonds, nor are monopolies. Using our own psychology against us for the purpose of artificially inflating demand (cf: advertising) isn't unique to diamonds either. Consumers who don't pay moron tax on diamonds will just pay it on something else instead.
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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby Radical_Initiator » Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:17 am UTC

dudiobugtron wrote:
... so that someone being paid probably sub-human wages and being treated like cattle can pluck them out of the ground and hand them to a company whose entire protracted wealth is the result of hoarding said product, artificially driving down supply while simultaneously using our own psychology against us for the purpose of artificially inflating demand ... Call it a "moron tax".


Is pretty much just the same arguments one might use against almost any consumer product. 'Unfair' trade isn't unique to diamonds, nor are monopolies. Using our own psychology against us for the purpose of artificially inflating demand (cf: advertising) isn't unique to diamonds either. Consumers who don't pay moron tax on diamonds will just pay it on something else instead.


You're right, but sometimes I think the diamond industry takes this stuff to a whole new level. I mean, it wasn't so very long ago that diamonds had nothing to do with marriage at all, or at least that was the impression I had. But now, a diamond ring isn't just associated with engagement, it's nearly synonymous to some people. And the level of violence that they're willing to go through (or willing to allow for someone else to go through) to get and hoard those diamonds is usually associated with things that are much more necessary to our way of life - water, food, oil, etc. It's not at all specific to diamonds, but they do the bad parts of their industry really well.
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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby Sockmonkey » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:49 am UTC

Radical_Initiator wrote:You're right, but sometimes I think the diamond industry takes this stuff to a whole new level. I mean, it wasn't so very long ago that diamonds had nothing to do with marriage at all, or at least that was the impression I had. But now, a diamond ring isn't just associated with engagement, it's nearly synonymous to some people. And the level of violence that they're willing to go through (or willing to allow for someone else to go through) to get and hoard those diamonds is usually associated with things that are much more necessary to our way of life - water, food, oil, etc. It's not at all specific to diamonds, but they do the bad parts of their industry really well.
This. DeBeers takes this to comic-book supervillan levels. Also, the fact that it's for the sake of fashion makes it that much more evil.

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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby Jplus » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:25 am UTC

According to Wikipedia, synthetic diamonds can only be distinguished from natural ones in a laboratory. So synthetic or natural should not matter in a piece of jewelry.
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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:16 pm UTC

dudiobugtron wrote:Is pretty much just the same arguments one might use against almost any consumer product. 'Unfair' trade isn't unique to diamonds, nor are monopolies. Using our own psychology against us for the purpose of artificially inflating demand (cf: advertising) isn't unique to diamonds either. Consumers who don't pay moron tax on diamonds will just pay it on something else instead.


It's a question of degree. Monopolies are bad just about everywhere, and terrible companies exist in just about any field, but this particular market is pretty terrible.

Don't get me wrong...I'm fully planning on buying a diamond ring to propose with, it'll just be synthetic(if I can find a place to sell em). I couldn't care less about "natural", and don't understand why it's used as a badge of quality.

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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby Chen » Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:53 pm UTC

I suspect if diamond prices were super low they would not be the choice of gem (or whatever) you'd have pushed as engagement rings anyway. Its not like diamonds are in demand because of their looks. They're in demand because they're expensive and people like expensive things. If they were suddenly cheap, I expect their demand would drop quite a bit over the long term.

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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:27 pm UTC

It's probably among the most irrational of markets...and this is, of course, almost entirely due to the monopolistic control. If that didn't exist, someone would gleefully undercut the market, and in time, the whole situation would become much, much more reasonable. So DeBoers is pretty responsible for the general state of affairs, even if they haven't directly done every bad thing involved with diamonds.

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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:55 pm UTC

Is de Beers causing high diamond prices actually well-supported, or is it just a fun little factoid that's been passed around for too long? If Wikipedia's sales figures are to be believed, even if diamonds were given away for free it would cause at most a 16% drop in the retail price of diamond jewelry.

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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby nitePhyyre » Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:08 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Ok, who's gonna buy a cheap rock for their fiance when/if/ they got married instead of the expensive diamond? Don't cheat and claim you didn't know any better when you bought her the ring.
If your SO cares that a diamond is synthetic/cheaper, then she sounds like a high maintenance bitch.

Actually, go out and buy the cheap one, if it causes a problem, don't give it to her, you've dodged a bullet. Another advantage of synthetic.
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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby Derek » Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:26 pm UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:Is de Beers causing high diamond prices actually well-supported, or is it just a fun little factoid that's been passed around for too long? If Wikipedia's sales figures are to be believed, even if diamonds were given away for free it would cause at most a 16% drop in the retail price of diamond jewelry.

It's actually true. De Beers is one of the archetypical monopolies. Their position has been significantly challenged in recent years though.

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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby Chen » Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:35 pm UTC

Derek wrote:It's actually true. De Beers is one of the archetypical monopolies. Their position has been significantly challenged in recent years though.


Wikipedia does seem to say most of the monopoly was broken, but I don't really know how reliable that is. It seems well sourced though.

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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:30 pm UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:Is de Beers causing high diamond prices actually well-supported, or is it just a fun little factoid that's been passed around for too long? If Wikipedia's sales figures are to be believed, even if diamonds were given away for free it would cause at most a 16% drop in the retail price of diamond jewelry.


It's less a DeBeers controlled monopoly than it used to be historically...but you can't really go through the history of diamonds without seeing the weight of their influence. And note that even in that article, it makes mention of how tightly controlled the entire supply chain is. It's still nothing like an open market.

I mean, go out and try to resell a gem you have. You're going to take a bath on the resale value. Gold, on the other hand, is often sold in jewelry at more reasonable markups(though like with anything else, there's a certain element of paying for design and such). Gold even will typically be melted down and resold in a different form, so you'd expect it to be less resalable than a diamond(which has fairly few cuts used for the vast majority of diamonds), but that's not the case. This indicates that the diamond market kind of sucks for consumers compared to say, gold or silver, other markets highly associated with jewelry.

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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby sardia » Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:22 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:It's probably among the most irrational of markets...and this is, of course, almost entirely due to the monopolistic control. If that didn't exist, someone would gleefully undercut the market, and in time, the whole situation would become much, much more reasonable. So DeBoers is pretty responsible for the general state of affairs, even if they haven't directly done every bad thing involved with diamonds.

Well, the expected value of a diamond is above 1$, even if nobody used it for fashion, it's still useful for industry. I present exhibit A: Lottery tickets; a tax on the poor and stupid. No resale value, no industrial value, and no sentimental value. All you get is hope for $1, and that feeling only lasts a week tops.

I'm tempted to get something that represents the technological age as a ring, but I can only think of expensive metals like gold, silver, platinum, and the other stuff is radioactive.
Edit: OOOOh pretty... How did I forget about photonic crystals.
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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby Radical_Initiator » Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:30 pm UTC

sardia wrote:I'm tempted to get something that represents the technological age as a ring, but I can only think of expensive metals like gold, silver, platinum, and the other stuff is radioactive.


Silicon? Perhaps something with a synthetic ruby, in honor of the laser?
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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:34 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Well, the expected value of a diamond is above 1$, even if nobody used it for fashion, it's still useful for industry. I present exhibit A: Lottery tickets; a tax on the poor and stupid. No resale value, no industrial value, and no sentimental value. All you get is hope for $1, and that feeling only lasts a week tops.

I'm tempted to get something that represents the technological age as a ring, but I can only think of expensive metals like gold, silver, platinum, and the other stuff is radioactive.


The value of a diamond is a fairly small percentage of retail cost, though. The consumer, when buying it, will not be able to use it to produce anything of monetary value, and will also not likely receive a good return on investment.

Lottery tickets are also a pretty interesting market. There's...slightly more to it than that. There is, actually, a value to lottery tickets. It is typically lower than the sale price, true, but it's not zero. Prize value means that each ticket will, on average, have some value. The particular distribution is very high risk/high reward, but an average value for any given lottery does exist. According to Clotfelder and Cook, on average, about 50% of income is redistributed in prizes, so on average, buyers will receive half their money back. Diamond values do not seem to be anywhere near as well studied, but a bit of googling indicates that getting a third of what you paid back for a stone is pretty good in most circumstances, and industrial diamond prices are so far below jewelry diamond prices as to not even be worth considering.

So, yeah, I'd say that lottery tickets to appear to be a better consumer purchase than diamonds generally. Neither is great, mind you, but lottery tickets have a higher likely return on investment...especially if you pick one with a good prize payout ratio.

Tungsten/Titanium and other similar metals are options. Less traditionally precious, but if you want to represent technology...that's an option.

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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby johnny_7713 » Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:41 pm UTC

In related news: the IgNobel 2012 prize for Peace has been awarded to a Russian company for finding a way to make diamonds from old ammunition. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find more details.

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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby Max™ » Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:07 am UTC

sardia wrote:
Sockmonkey wrote:
Shivahn wrote:That's not true!

At the very least, they drum up business for large arms companies.

Yes, and it seriously pisses me off that DeBeers pulls so much crap to keep the lab ones out of the market when widespread manufacture of diamonds would effectively pull a huge chunk of the funding from various african warlords.

Ok, who's gonna buy a cheap rock for their fiance when/if/ they got married instead of the expensive diamond? Don't cheat and claim you didn't know any better when you bought her the ring.

/

She doesn't want to give money to DeBeers either, I like to call the "cruelty-free" instead of lab grown or synthetic.


Note that our birthstones are diamond and sapphire.


Btw, if anyone is still looking for where to buy one, this site checked out pretty well from my research a while back: http://www.miadonna.com/
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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby Minerva » Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:35 am UTC

I would happily wear jewellery with synthetic diamonds, or give them to a loved one (assuming that she "gets it" and doesn't just think I'm cheap.) What a lovely symbol of science and technology.
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Re: Russia declassifies enormous deposit of diamonds

Postby ran88dom99 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:17 am UTC

Maybe debeers acts like a bank with small, unregulated and not nation specific currency.


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