Are Diamonds Rare? Debunking Diamond Myths

Alicia Briggs | October 10, 2023

Diamonds have long been coveted and sought-after throughout history. Diamonds are considered one of the oldest and strongest minerals known to man. But many people also believe that diamonds are one of the rarest gemstones available. However, that belief is largely a myth. You may be surprised to learn that diamonds are not that rare, including both mined and lab-grown diamonds.

Diamonds Are Not That Rare

Diamonds are simply not that rare. Diamonds are durable, beautiful, desirable, and valuable but as far as gemstones go, they are not very rare. Real diamonds (both mined and lab-grown diamonds like VRAI created diamonds) are made from carbon, which is a plentiful resource. Rough diamonds are actually considered common when compared to other gemstones.

Most diamonds produced are not jewelry grade, however. Desirable high-quality diamonds that are used for engagement rings and jewelry are much less common. This is where the myth that diamonds are rare comes from.

But even jewelry-grade diamonds aren’t very rare. While we don’t have a global estimate for how many diamonds are available in the world, at least 133 million carats of jewelry-grade diamonds are sold annually. As such, many people own diamonds. The main barrier to buying a diamond is price, not availability or rarity.

What Stones Are More Rare Than Diamonds?

Despite popular beliefs, diamonds are not the rarest gem. Numerous gemstones are rarer and more valuable than diamonds. Below you’ll find just a few of the rarest gemstones.


Benitoite is a beautiful blue gemstone that also reflects light and has its own fire. Beloved for jewelry, benitoite is a rare gem that is only found in San Benito, California.


This mesmerizing gemstone changes color based on the light. Alexandrite originated in Russia and was discovered in 1830. It’s been sought-after ever since and used in jewelry. There are still only a few locations where Alexandrite is produced, so it’s still a highly rare gemstone.


Emeralds are rarer than diamonds, and high-quality Emeralds are often more valuable than diamonds. There are only a few places where Emeralds can be mined, which adds to their value. Just like diamonds, Emeralds have inclusions. Finding a high-quality Emerald is even rarer than finding a high-quality diamond.

Burma Ruby

Any ruby is considered rare but Burma Rubies are some of the rarest. These rubies only come from Myanmar which gives them far less iron than other rubies. All rubies are evaluated for quality and color based on the standards set by Burma Rubies.

Kashmir Sapphire

Kashmir Sapphires are beloved for their electric blue color and soft appearance. The production of Kashmir sapphires came to a halt in the 1930s. As such, these sapphires are now incredibly rare and often only found in museums.

Why Are Diamonds Valuable?

Diamonds have been considered valuable since their discovery. They have long represented strength, power, and wealth. Since diamonds are one of the hardest known minerals, there are numerous valuable uses for diamonds aside from jewelry, including industrial and technological uses.

“Diamonds are so valuable compared to other gemstones used in jewelry for a few reasons. For one, they’re super durable. You can wear a diamond day in and day out and never really have to worry about damage. Nearly all other gemstones have particular wear instructions that you have to be mindful of,” explains Grace Taylor, VRAI’s Sr. Director of Sales & CX.

“Diamonds are also infinitely unique. No two diamonds will look identical, just like no two relationships are the same. If you want a gemstone that will go with everything, can be worn all the time, and is uniquely yours, a diamond is the best option,” Taylor continues.

Diamond Myths Debunked

Below, we debunk the most common myths surrounding diamond rarity and value.

Myth: Mined Diamonds Are Rarer Than Lab-Grown Diamonds

Mined diamonds are not necessarily rarer than lab-grown diamonds. There are more mined diamonds worldwide than lab-grown diamonds. In 2020, almost 7 million carats of lab-grown diamonds were globally produced. In comparison, 142 million carats of mined diamonds were globally produced in 2019. Mined diamonds still account for the majority of diamond sales.

However, lab-grown diamonds are easier to produce as it takes only one month to grow a lab-grown diamond and far less labor. They are not a finite resource which is where the belief that mined diamonds are rarer than lab-grown diamonds comes from.

While mined diamonds are believed to be finite, researchers have recently discovered that over a quadrillion tons of diamonds exist beneath the Earth’s mantles. This number far exceeds how many diamonds were previously thought to exist.

Globally, the number of diamonds available comes down to mined diamond production and companies who control how many diamonds are available at any given time. As such, mined diamonds are mistakenly believed to be rarer than they are.

Myth: Diamonds Are Expensive Because They Are Rare

Mined diamonds are expensive due to demand and controlled diamond prices, not because they are rare. A few key industry players, such as De Beers, control the majority of the diamond market supply. Thanks to consistent demand, they have been able to set and control the price of mined diamonds. The high price of mined diamonds does not reflect their value or rarity.

Myth: There Aren’t Many Diamonds Left in the World

The belief that the world is running out of diamonds is false. In 2020, worldwide diamond reserves were estimated at 1.2 billion carats. As technology advances, more diamond sites have been found. However, the global diamond supply is not reflective of how many diamonds are left in the world. It only accounts for how many diamonds have been produced through mining.

The FTC officially recognizes lab-grown diamonds as real diamonds. Lab-grown diamond production continues to grow and they are not finite. More lab-grown diamonds can always be produced which means we will not run out of diamonds, even if mined diamond production decreases.

Myth: Higher Carat Diamonds Are More Valuable Than Lower Carat Weight Diamonds

Higher-carat-weight diamonds are not necessarily more valuable than lower-carat-weight diamonds. While diamond carat price greatly influences a diamond’s value, the quality of the diamond is what matters most. All higher-carat diamonds are not high-quality diamonds. In fact, they rarely are.

If a 4-carat diamond has a low diamond grade it will be less valuable than a flawless 1-carat diamond. The remaining diamond 4Cs - color, clarity, and cut - will determine a diamond’s value, not simply the carat weight.

Myth: Diamonds Are the Most Valuable Gem

Diamonds are not the rarest or most valuable gems. Most diamonds produced are not jewelry-grade diamonds. These diamonds are often low quality and not considered valuable.

While high-quality, jewelry-grade diamonds are certainly valuable, there are many other gemstones like red beryl and tanzanite that are more valuable than diamonds.

Myth: Lab-Grown Diamonds Aren’t Valuable

Lab-grown diamonds always cost less than mined diamonds of the same quality and size. As such, shoppers often think that lab-grown diamonds aren’t valuable, but that is not true.

Lab-grown diamonds cost less than mined diamonds because of two key reasons. For starters, lab-grown diamond production is far less costly due to less labor and fewer resources required.

Secondly, mined diamond prices are set by major companies to reflect demand, not value. Lab-grown diamonds can be priced more fairly. At VRAI, thanks to our vertically integrated supply chain and zero-emission diamond foundry, we can offer competitive diamond prices. Our lab-grown diamonds are priced to reflect their value, not middlemen markups.

At the end of the day, lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds. They are just as valuable, durable, and beautiful as mined diamonds.

Discover VRAI Created Diamonds

All VRAI created diamonds are grown in the world’s first zero-emission foundry. Our lab-grown diamonds are unmatched in sustainable creation and quality with 30 diamond shapes available in our bespoke Cut for You™ diamond experience. Explore our full inventory online or in one of our VRAI showrooms.


Statista. “Diamond Industry Statistics & Facts.”

IGS. “Ten Gemstones Rarer Than Diamonds.”

CNN. “A Quadrillion Tons of Diamonds Lie Deep Beneath the Earth’s Surface.”

virtual appointment with diamond expert meeting with potential customers over a call on a computer
virtual appointment with diamond expert meeting with potential customers over a call on a computer

Consult with a diamond expert

Speak with our diamond experts and enjoy:

  • Personalized guidance to select your ring
  • In-depth diamond 4C education
  • Exclusive in-store fittings or virtual try-ons
  • Custom design options

Speak with our diamond experts and enjoy:

  • Personalized guidance to select your ring
  • In-depth diamond 4C education
  • Exclusive in-store fittings or virtual try-ons
  • Custom design options