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The Long View of Diamonds

It may be interesting to note the costly nature of our jewelry.  In the past 100+ years, the price of engagement rings has increased on average over three thousand percent!  In the 1890s, Tiffany’s sold its rings at around $40, a striking contrast to the rings nowadays that are sold for somewhere in the multiple thousands of dollars.

Like engagement rings, most things rise in value as they age –­­ wines, coins, and baseball cards, to name a few.  One object that seems to take the opposite approach, however, is diamond.  Given enough time, that particular gem morphs into the ever-­common graphite. Don’t worry, though.  Practically, the conversion is likely to occur only when kept for prolonged periods of time at very high temperatures. Without that stimulation, the process can take innumerable eras, which means your diamond necklace won’t be in danger any time soon.  At least not in your own lifetime. But we should put that timeframe into perspective: while the process may take many lifetimes of a human, it is only a blip on the scale for our jewelry.  In natural circumstances, diamonds take an average of 3 billion years to form, so to them the span of eras until their deterioration into graphite probably feels like the blink of an eye!

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