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Opinion: A Bright Future Ahead

As people seek personal connections and ethical products, the natural diamond industry has a lot to offer.

Jun 11, 2020 5:54 AM   By Alan Bronstein
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RAPAPORT... The pandemic of 2020 has caused what may be the greatest economic upheaval in the history of modern society. No one is unaffected, from the catastrophic loss of life, to the tens of millions around the world who have lost the income they need to survive, to the businesses everywhere that have been wiped out or reduced to ashes. This is an international challenge that must be met with actions that will put us on the path to recovery. 

In this time, we must reinvigorate public sentiment for the nonessentials of living, the luxuries that used to bring us pleasure. The generations that are inheriting the earth and its wealth are focusing on new priorities, like saving our planet from self-destruction.

Hopefully, our unified call to action will launch a new beginning for the 21st century. Such a renaissance will take place as more and more people recognize the need for cooperation, the need for fairness to all souls, the need for truth and transparency.

How does all this relate to the world of natural diamonds and colored stones? Before the shutdown of the world’s commerce, the diamond industry was well on its way to communicating the true metaphors of diamonds and reminding people of our psychological connection to this material desire. There is much speculation about whether consumers will return to the same objects that used to be a priority for them. The history of mankind has always involved aspiring to beautiful possessions. Even Stone Age humans adorned themselves with the most precious and beautiful objects they could find. It’s a human trait.

People want something they can connect to personally — a symbol for a dream, an event, a special moment, to express love, to celebrate an accomplishment or nothing at all. These are the signposts we create along our journey of life, reminders we wish to cherish forever. This will not disappear and will return when minds are more peaceful.

I anticipate a revolution in manufactured luxury items. Styles will change to mark the new beginning, an inevitability now in motion. Natural and ethical production will become part of this responsible movement in order to appeal to consumers’ evolving consciousness. Natural products will also have to meet high standards for consumer acceptance. Without consumer acceptance, there is no value.

Natural diamonds, both colored and colorless, have an extremely special connection to the natural world. As people become more conscious of that world, there will be an even greater appreciation for minerals in their infinite varieties. Natural diamonds have extraordinary beauty and are the oldest material you can possess as a talisman or reminder. This has been true since they were discovered 3,500 years ago in India, though they have only been available to the masses since the discovery of mines in Brazil and South Africa. They have been a part of the marriage institution and the ultimate gift of love for the last 75 years. There is no doubt that the marketing slogan “A Diamond Is Forever” played a huge part in the desire for diamonds.

Today, we need to build on the old but honest message of positivity, the knowledge and dreams that feel true to the younger generation. Diamonds are not just a symbol of engagement, but also of friendship, appreciation, gratitude, and love in all forms. There are and always have been alternatives to “the real thing,” but they lack the unseen energy, the connection to nature.

As for the future of natural colored diamonds, they will continue to be the stars of the natural gem world, the finest art that nature has created. The impact of this shock to the system must give us pause, as we do not know where values will settle. The trading prices that get goods flowing again may be dramatic compared to the highs of five years ago. But wherever and whenever natural colored diamonds begin to trade again, I believe they will eventually climb to new record-breaking highs. Then nature’s wearable Picassos will again be the center of attention, the jewel in the crown for our beloved natural gem industry.

We have always been an international community. It should be known that 90% of the most spectacular and valuable natural colored diamonds are bought outside the United States. The global trade is the power behind our success. If we can act together for the 10 million individuals who make a living through natural diamonds, and if we can make consumers comfortable with complete transparency, I expect our industry has a brighter and more exciting future than ever before.

Alan Bronstein is president of the Natural Color Diamond Association.  

Image: Alan Bronstein.
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