Potato Chips and Rough Diamonds?

I know you are asking yourself what on earth could these things have in common. Surprisingly a lot. First, here are the five most common rough diamond shapes.  

Crystals

Crystals
  • Rounds
  • Princess
  • Box Radiants
  • Standard Radiants

Makeable

Makeable
  • Rounds

Splittable

Splittable
  • Rounds
  • Fancy Shapes

Macle

Macle
  • Fancy Shapes

Flat

Flat
  • Small Stones
  • Trilliants and Baguettes

Now to the potato chip analogy. Take any bag of potato chips. Firmly pinch both the left and right tops of the bag (right under the glued part). Now pull! See the chips? Smell the freshness (ok freshness is not really a factor for this example but I’m trying to put you in the moment). Look in the bag. . . . How many perfect chips do you see? Four? Five? One? An unopened bag of potato chips is like the earth before we started excavating diamonds. Now start pulling out the chips! Start with the perfect ones, then the next to perfect ones, then the half broken ones and so on and so forth. After you are done pulling, what do you have left? Crumbs! Potato micro chip! That’s where we are in the world of diamonds now. The bottom of the bag. Those first few perfect and less broken chips (in the diamond world) we call crystals, makables, and sawables. The chip crumbs are called macles and flats (see above). The earth has been heavily excavated since the mid-1860s! The good stuff is gone and the world’s miners are sitting on boatloads of macles and flats. They have no choice but to dump them on the market (which they have been doing now relentlessly for the last two years). Since marquise, pears, ovals, Asschers, emerald cuts are all cut from the bottom of the barrel and since the bottom of the barrel is being dumped over our heads, there is now and will forever be an over abundance of these fancy shapes on the market! As any economist will tell you, if supply exceeds demand, the price falls! And diamonds that can’t hold there value can not be bondable. So, as of September 8th 2005, only Box Radiants, Standard Radiants and Rounds are bondable. As everyone knows, nobody wants what everyone can have. 

by Fred Cuellar, author of the best-selling book “How to Buy a Diamond.” More questions? Ask the Diamond Guy®