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Untitled Document

Fashion 101: Why Luxury is Expensive; The Tiffany & Co Yellow Diamond

Fashion 101: Why Luxury is Expensive; The Tiffany & Co Yellow Diamond
Tiffany Bezet rings in 18 carat gold with yellow diamonds.

By Alexandra SUHNER ISENBERG

Editor-at-Large

November 14, 2010 - Today's Fashion 101 is the second of my "Why Luxury is Expensive" series and we are going to look at the Tiffany & Co. yellow diamond (the first one was about the Les Carrés d'Hermès and I have another Hermès post coming up soon...watch this space.)


So let's learn about why the yellow diamond is so expensive, and a little about diamonds while we are at it.

Let's start with some background on diamonds. Many people think that most diamonds mines are located in South Africa, however there are mines in Russia, India, Australia, Canada, and many other countries as well. I have visited one of the famous diamond mines of the world, located in Kimberley, South Africa. It is called the "Big Hole", probably not a great tagline for any town...

As you can see from the image -here- the water is clear blue and the hole looks quite deep. The terrifying thing is to look at the diagram of the depth of the mine and what is not explained there is that it was once mined to 1097m deep! I'd hate to think how that was done, as they stopped excavating the mine in 1914! When I saw it we stood on a little balcony that extends over the opening of the hole, and even though I am not really that afraid of heights, there is something terrifying about a hole that deep. The universal grading system for diamonds is the 4 C's: carat, colour, clarity, and cut. Here are the definitions, according to the Gemological Institute of America:

Carat:
Diamonds and other gemstones are weighed in metric carats: one carat is equal to 0.2 grams, about the same weight as a paperclip...read more


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